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Zimbabwe: Cholera

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received on the operation of the UNICEF programme for distribution of potable water to the cholera-affected areas of Zimbabwe. (258289)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is working closely with UNICEF and the World Health Organisation to ensure potable water reaches those in need. Our support includes: help to establish a cholera command and control centre (to co-ordinate the response); distribution of cholera response kits; provision of potable water in affected areas; and essential medicines and other vital support to health systems.

Distribution of potable water has been arranged in three ways: by fixing infrastructure and bringing in chemicals; through drilling of local boreholes; and ultimately by trucking in daily supplies where immediate needs can only be met this way. Indications are that where such measures have been instigated they have made a significant contribution to reducing the worst effects of the cholera outbreak.