EU Commits €150,000 in Aid to Combat Cholera Outbreak in Tanzania

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The European Union has pledged €150,000 in humanitarian aid to Tanzania to help tackle the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has affected over 4 million people. The funding will support the Tanzanian Red Cross Society (TRCS) in providing essential services such as clean water, healthcare, sanitation, and hygiene.

Since the beginning of 2024, cholera outbreaks have been reported in 13 locations across Tanzania, resulting in over 1,500 documented cases and 34 fatalities. The EU’s aid initiative, which will last for three months until the end of May 2024, aims to benefit 178,000 people in the severely affected areas of Kagera, Mwanza, and Shinyanga.

The current cholera outbreak in Tanzania is considered the most serious in nearly 40 years, exacerbated by heavy rains associated with the El Niño weather phenomenon. This has overwhelmed wastewater systems and infrastructure, particularly in densely populated areas.

Unless urgent action is taken to repair infrastructure, improve water management, and promote hygiene practices, Tanzania may face a prolonged epidemic. There is also a risk of the disease spreading to neighbouring countries such as Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi through major Tanzanian transportation hubs.

The EU’s funding is part of its commitment to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). This fund, established in 1979 and primarily funded by individual contributions, provides immediate financial assistance to National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies for small-scale disasters without the need for a formal international appeal.

The EU, through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, assists millions of victims of wars and disasters annually. With its headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU aims to aid the most vulnerable individuals in line with humanitarian needs.

By supporting the TRCS and the DREF, the EU seeks to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and protect the integrity and dignity of those affected by natural disasters and crises.

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