2 June 2010 The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is giving $646,000 to immunize hundreds of thousands of children in Lesotho, the Southern African country which since January has been grappling with a deadly outbreak of the disease.
By the end of April, there were some 2,037 suspected cases of measles and 1,295 confirmed cases in Lesotho. The majority of the cases have involved children.
In response, CERF will allocate funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) to be used to immunize 630,000 children between the ages of six months and 15 years, and to carry out a public measles awareness campaign for nearly one million people in the country.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced last month that it had received 4 million from European Union to boost food production in Lesotho, which ranks as one of the least developed countries on the UN Human Development Index (HDI).
CERF was established in 2006 to make funding for humanitarian emergencies faster and more equitable. Since then, more than 115 Member States and several private sector donors have contributed $1.9 billion to the fund, which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
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