This emergency appeal now seeks CHF 1,358,780 in cash, kind, or services to support the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society (SLRCS) to assist 1,539 206 direct and 2,000,000 indirect beneficiaries for six months, and will be completed by the end of February 2013. A final report will be made available by May 2013 (three months after the end of the operation).
CHF150,000 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Un-earmarked funds to replenish the DREF are encouraged.
Summary: A new outbreak of cholera in Sierra Leone has spread to 12 out of 13 districts, with the largest concentration of cases in the Western Area, where the capital, Freetown is located. Three of these districts were also affected by the previous outbreak in March 2012, which was supported by a DREF grant (MDRSL002). As of 30 August, 14,521 cases of cholera have been reported and 243 deaths had been confirmed, representing a continuing and significant rise in cases over the past two months. This is the largest cholera outbreak reported in Sierra Leone since the pandemic hit the country from 1970 to 1971. The government of Sierra Leone declared the outbreak a national epidemic on 16 August, and the President established a Presidential Task Force to address the public health emergency. This outbreak and spread is connected to poor sanitary conditions, acute water shortage, contamination of water sources and the migration of people from one affected region to other. The escalation of cases is being fuelled by consistent and heavy monsoonal rains. Predictions of heavy rains and possible flooding are still in place and will continue to hamper control efforts especially in the areas in and around Freetown, where sanitation is extremely poor.