Press Release

United Nations provides $2.5 million to fight cholera in Zambia

01 February 2024


Lusaka, 1 February 2024 - The United Nations (UN) has allocated $2.5 million in response to the cholera outbreak in Zambia. The funds, provided by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), will be used to support efforts by the Government in controlling the further spread of the disease.

As of 30 January 2024, a total of 16,258 cases were reported, including 606 deaths since the outbreak started in October last year, according to the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZHPHI).

The CERF funds will help cholera case management at health facility level and access to water and sanitation at homes, schools, and health facilities in the most affected areas. Other activities to be prioritized are awareness raising and community engagement through training and deployment of community-based volunteers. Additionally, the funding will support the protection of key groups, particularly women and girls, who might face the risk of experiencing gender-based violence and sexual exploitation as secondary impacts.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Beatrice Mutali, has pledged continued UN support to helping Zambia respond to the emergency.

“We are grateful to CERF for providing emergency funding in a speedy manner. As the UN in Zambia we are here to support all the way. We are on the ground, through UNICEF and WHO as technical leads with other agencies supporting and Delivering as One to help the Government fight this cholera outbreak,” said Ms Mutali.

Through WHO and UNICEF, the UN recently provided 1.7 million vaccines to Zambia, deployed 26 experts and made available more than $600,000 through core funds to support the Government’s immediate cholera response.

The other support provided included the provision of 320,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Solution, nearly 6,000 test kits, chlorine, soap and personal protective equipment, among other critical supplies.

Zambia is facing an unprecedent cholera outbreak, with the fatality rate around

four percent, and children aged below five years being disproportionately affected. The current outbreak has the capital city Lusaka as the epicentre and has been also fueled by the floods occurring in many parts of the country.


About CERF

CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strike. The main 10 donors to CERF are the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Canada, USA, Belgium and Italy.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Maseko, National Information Officer

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lusaka,

P: +260-211-386200




Mark Maseko

Mark Maseko

National Information Officer

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United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

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