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Ending Cholera – A Global Roadmap to 2030

While clean drinking water and advanced sanitation systems have made Europe and North America cholera-free for decades, the disease still affects more than 40 countries across the globe resulting in an estimated 2.9 million cases and 95,000 deaths of cholera per year worldwide. Cholera is an equity issue which disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable people worldwide and within each affected country. With climate change, urbanization, population growth, and other issues likely increasing the risk of cholera in the coming years, there is a growing momentum to renew the fight against the disease.

Every death from cholera is preventable with the tools we have today: effective cholera prevention and control interventions are well established. However, current efforts focus on emergency responses that have little to no impact on long-term control. Sustainable, long-term WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) programs that can provide effective control, meanwhile, are considered too expensive or complex to be implemented in the least developed countries—the exact places where prevention is needed most. More than 80 percent of affected countries report insufficient financing to meet their WaSH targets, and capital investments are three
times lower than they need to be to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, global water and sanitation aid has declined in recent years, dropping from $10.4 billion in 2012 to $8.4 billion in 2015. As a result, almost 2 billion people worldwide still drink water from sources contaminated with feces that can carry the cholera bacterium, and 2.3 billion are without adequate sanitation facilities.