THE African Development Bank (AfDB) yesterday extended a $1 million grant to Zimbabwe which will be used to combat cholera.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Country manager Damoni Kitabire said although the regional bank would not extend any loans to Zimbabwe until the southern African country settled its arrears, it had committed grants in excess of $200 million to finance various projects in energy, health, water and agriculture.
In September, Zimbabwe was hit by a severe cholera outbreak, which saw 2 000 cases being reported per week, and left over 50 people dead.
“This support to Zimbabwe will compliment government efforts and assistance by development partners, as well as the World Health Organisation, to avert a national and regional social and economic catastrophe by making it possible to prevent further deaths from cholera as well as containing its spread beyond the current affected areas,” Kitabire said.
“While a response mechanism is already in existence, this financial assistance for the procurement of supposed as well as improved case management will assist to mitigate further spread of infection, particularly due to increased movement of people within the country and across borders during this restive Christmas season.”
The fund will be administered through WHO.
Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who received the grant on behalf of government, said the country’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure was in dire straits.
He said the lack of adequate funding and fiscal imbalances was adding to the deterioration of WASH services in Zimbabwe.
Ncube added that the parallel crowd funding effort from the private sector had raised $13,8m.