UN warns Ebola still far from over

2014-11-22 13:48


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Africa cooperates more on anti-gay laws than Ebola - Amnesty

2014-11-21 15:57

Amnesty International campaigner in West Africa Francois Patuel joins us over Skype from Dakar to discuss the recent spate of homophobic arrests in Gambia. Some African states allegedly copy each others' anti-gay legislation, and show a greater cooperation in 'fighting' homosexuality than fighting Ebola. Watch. WATCH

New York - The head of the UN Ebola mission warned on Friday that the world was "far, far away" from beating the deadly outbreak and said a huge increase in aid was needed to fight the virus in Africa.

"There is a long battle ahead of us," Anthony Banbury told the UN Security Council, which met two months after it declared the outbreak a threat to world security.

Fighting the epidemic "is going to require a tremendous increase in resources on the ground, in a dispersed geographic area", said Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (Unmeer) by video conference.

While recognising some progress, Banbury said international efforts had yet to gain the upper hand on the epidemic, with a new outbreak in Mali, where Unmeer will set up operations.

"We are far, far away from ending this crisis," he declared.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in Washington that if international efforts are stepped up, the Ebola outbreak can be contained by the middle of next year.

Recent data has shown a decline in cases in Liberia, the worst-hit country, and Guinea, but last week, 533 new cases were reported in Sierra Leone - the highest weekly tally since the outbreak began in that country.

"The fight is not only ongoing, but it is still tilting in Ebola's favour," warned US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

"The gains to date could easily be reversed," said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who chaired the meeting on Ebola.

More health care workers needed 

The US envoy, who travelled to Ebola-hit West Africa last month, said 1 000 international health care workers were needed on an ongoing basis and warned it was unclear the supply could be sustained "two months from now."

"More countries need to send teams, and those that have already sent them must maintain a pipeline of trained replacements so that the supply can be replenished in the coming months," she said.

More than 5 000 people have died from Ebola and more than 15 000 have been infected.

The United Nations has been struggling to mobilise financial pledges and resources - medical equipment, doctors, nurses, health workers - to come to the aid of Ebola-hit countries, nearly one year after the outbreak.

The world body recently increased its appeal for $1 billion in pledges to $1.5bn to defeat Ebola and the focus has shifted to providing aid to rural areas where the virus has spread.

The council adopted a statement calling on Ban to "accelerate efforts to scale up Unmeer's presence and activities" in rural areas.

It also drew a list of resources needed from member-states: mobile laboratories, field hospitals, trained personnel, therapies, vaccines, diagnostics and personal protective equipment.

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  liberia  |  guinea  |  sierra leone  |  ebola  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.