£2m in UK aid to tackle Ebola epidemic

29 Jul 14
The UK is set to spend £2m on medical support and supplies to tackle the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

By | 29 July 2014

The UK is set to spend £2m on medical support and supplies to tackle the spread of Ebola in West Africa, the International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

Greening said the package of assistance would be made available immediately to partners including the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières, which are operating in Sierra Leone and Liberia to deal with the outbreak.

‘This Ebola outbreak poses a serious public health risk to West Africa,’ she said.

‘Britain is working with the countries affected and the international community to ensure that the outbreak is contained and reaches those in need.’

DFID said this latest round of funding was in addition to support the UK has been providing since the Ebola outbreak in February this year. The deadly virus causes rapidly worsening fever and pain, internal haemorrhages and is often fatal.

The fund is expected to fill critical gaps in the frontline response by providing technical staff including epidemiologists, clinicians, information managers and logistics managers for six months.

It is also hoped that the funds will improve public understanding of the disease, expand the investigation, tracing and treatment of new cases and provide safe and dignified burial to the deceased.

In a statement on July 26, the Red Cross said it had increased its response to the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, revising an emergency appeal to provide support to the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society in assisting 6.3 million people who are at risk of being affected by the disease. It has increased its emergency appeal budget up from the CHF (Swiss Francs) 113,217 it asked for in April to CHF 1,366,156 this year. The appeal closes at the end of the year.   

According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola epidemic has killed over 600 people in West Africa since early this year. Médecins Sans Frontières said 454 Ebola cases have been recorded in Sierra Leone, the epicentre of the epidemic.

 

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