A pledge by the Australian government to bring an additional A$10 million (US$6.5 million) to the fight against cholera in Zimbabwe is a much needed shot in the arm for those battling to end a persistent epidemic that has claimed more than 4,000 lives, relief officials said.
Half the Australian money, or US$3.25 million, is going to the United Nations Children's Fund, or UNICEF, to help cities and towns purchase water treatment chemicals so that local distribution systems can provide Zimbabweans with access to safe water.
Contamination of water supplies has contributed greatly to the infection of 89,930 people in Zimbabwe with cholera since last August, according to data provided by the World Health Organization, resulting in the death of 4,049 people through Wednesday.
UNICEF Communications Officer Tsitsi Singizi told reporter Marvellous Mhlanga-Nyahuye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe the funds will also be used to drill deep, safe boreholes.
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