West Africa: EU boosts its immediate aid to contain Ebola outbreak
The European Union is increasing by an additional €8 million its efforts to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This is the fourth increase of EU assistance for this crisis. It brings the Commission's aid in 2014 to fight the Ebola epidemic, which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", to €11.9 million. In addition, a second "European mobile laboratory" will be deployed in the coming days, most likely to Sierra Leone, to provide essential support to diagnostics and testing.
EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: "Saving lives and providing further support to West Africa is now more than ever an urgent priority. We have therefore decided to mobilise today’s additional assistance from the European Development Fund. New medical supplies and the mobile laboratory will help to meet the pressing needs in the region and improve capacities to detect the virus".
The additional EU funding will provide immediate healthcare to the affected communities and help contain the spread of the epidemic. The aid will be channelled through the European Commission's humanitarian partners on the ground, including UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations.