Ebola aid pledges far short of $1bn needed

2014-10-10 22:41
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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New York - Pledges of financial aid to fight Ebola have fallen far short of the $1bn needed by the UN, with only one quarter of the amount raised, a UN official said on Friday.

UN deputy secretary general Jan Eliasson also appealed for doctors, nurses and other health care personnel to come forward to work in desperately needed treatment centres to be set up in West Africa.

"Of the $1bn sought... only one quarter has been funded," Eliasson told the UN General Assembly.

About $20m separately has been pledged for a trust fund set up by the UN to help fund the international response to Ebola.

"We need more - we need much more," Eliasson said.

The world's worst outbreak of Ebola has killed close to 3 900 people and overwhelmed health care systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The UN has appealed for $1bn to fund an international response that officials admit has been slow and has yet to catch up to the rapid-fire spread of the virus.

"Speed is of the essence," said Eliasson. "A contribution within days is more important than a larger contribution within weeks."

He called for a "surge" in trained health care personnel who can travel to work in treatment centres where hospitals and clinics have been unable to cope with the caseload.

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  ebola  |  health

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