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EU scales up funding in response to Ebola outbreak in West Africa

EU scales up funding in response to Ebola outbreak in West Africa
30/07/2014  - 

The European Commission is allocating an additional €2 million to respond to the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded. This brings the Commission's aid to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa to €3.9 million.

"The spread of the disease on the ground is extremely worrying and we need to scale up our action before many more lives are lost," said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva. "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. 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 menace".

The additional EU funding will help contain the spread of the epidemic and provide immediate healthcare to the affected communities. It will be channelled through the World Health Organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The Ebola epidemic is taking a devastating toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. To date, the outbreak has seen 1200 cases and 670 deaths, including many health workers. A case has also been confirmed in Lagos (Nigeria), where a patient died on 26 July. According to the WHO, this is the largest recorded outbreak in terms of cases, deaths and geographical coverage.