$5.5 million needed in DR Congo cholera fight: UN

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The United Nations and aid organisations urgently need $5.5 million (4.1 million euros) to battle cholera in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN spokeswoman said on Friday.

Agencies estimate that $3 million is required for water and sanitation and $2.5 million for medical care in the four provinces along the Congo river.

"This $5.5 million is really urgently needed because the rainy season is set to begin," said Elisabeth Byrs from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Cholera is rife in DR Congo where 17,515 cases have been registered in eight of the country's eleven provinces since January, according to the UN.

Widespread sanitation problems make it difficult to tackle the highly contagious intestinal infection that can kill if not treated properly.

© 2011 AFP

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