One Billion dollars needed to contain Ebola outbreak

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Health-care providers, still wearing their protective clothing, must thoroughly disinfect every place a person suspected to have Ebola passes through on the way to the health unit. WHO/Christina Banluta

The United Nations says it will require nearly a billion dollars to bring the Ebola disease outbreak in West Africa under control.

The outbreak continues to accelerate with nearly 5,000 people infected and more than 2,400 deaths across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

To better coordinate efforts to contain the outbreak, a Global Ebola Response Coalition (GERC) has been established bringing together the United Nations, humanitarian partners, private sector, non-governmental organizations, multilateral organizations, international financial institutions and UN Member States.

Speaking in Geneva, the UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola Dr. David Nabarro said the outbreak is unprecedented and requires an exceptional, international response to address both the health crisis and the broader societal, economic and political threats to the countries affected.

"The amount for which we have requested was around 100 million dollars a month ago and now it's a billion dollars. So our ask has gone up 10 times in a month. And the reason for that is the outbreak in last months has doubled in size. And we realized because it is going to double in that sort of frequency if we don't deal with it, the amount requested have increased dramatically. The international community is getting ready for an even more dramatic surge in its response. Things picked up quite well in recent weeks, with more medical teams coming in and more supplies and better co-ordination, but because of the way in which the outbreak is advancing, the level of surge we need to do is unprecedented. It is massive."

A response plan presented to UN member states in Geneva estimates that the Ebola virus transmission will start to reduce before the end of this year and will end before mid-2015.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 2.06″

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