EU Provides €2M to Fight Ebola Outbreak


The European Commission (EU) Liberia office last weekend announced an allocation of additional €2 million to respond to the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded in human history.

According to a statement issued Wednesday by the EU office in Liberia, the amount brings the Commission's aid to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to €3.9 million.

"The level of contamination on the ground remains extremely worrying and we need to scale up our action before many more lives are lost," said Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response said.

"I want to pay tribute to the health workers, who strive around the clock to help the victims, and prevent further contagion, often at serious risk to their own lives, she declared.

The EU itself has deployed experts to the affected countries to help assess the situation and coordinate with the authorities. “But we need a sustained effort from the international community to help West Africa deal with this Ebola menace," she added.

The statement said that the additional EU funding, which will be channelled through the office of the WHO, Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF), and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), will help contain the spread of the epidemic, and provide immediate healthcare to the affected communities.

WHO is providing equipment and advice to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOH/SW) as well as coordination and epidemiological surveillance, while MSF is supporting the clinical management of cases,  including the isolation of patients and psychosocial support, and the tracing of suspected cases.

For its part, IFRC is supporting National Red Cross societies to promote community awareness and preventative hygiene measures and providing safe burial of Ebola victims.

The Ebola epidemic is taking a devastating toll on the Mano River Union (MRU) countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

To date, the outbreak has seen 1,200 cases and 670 deaths, including many health workers.

According to the statement, the risk of the virus spreading to Europe is currently low, since most cases are in remote areas in the affected countries, and those who are ill with the disease or who are contacts are encouraged to remain isolated.

The EU statement, however,  said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is keeping the situation constantly under review, and has issued several Rapid Risk Assessments providing guidance on how to proceed if suspected cases were detected in the EU.

To date no cases have been detected among returning travelers in Europe, the statement added.



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