The European Union has called for the international community to increase their efforts to make up for “precious time” that was lost in the battle against Ebola that broke out in Western Africa. The most serious-ever contagion of this infectious disease has killed about 2,400 people in Western Africa since it started spreading earlier this year. Aid agencies similarly disapprove of an insufficient response to the emergency.
The United Nations reminded last week that Ebola showed no signs of abating and its cases are growing “faster than the capacity to manage them”. The President of Liberia, the country whose nationals account for more than a half of the total number of victims, warned that the disease was jeopardizing the country’s social fabric. As a response, the UN is calling for the international community to raise 600 million USD (465 million euros) and provide both technical and professional assistance. The UN appealed for countries to send medical staff, beds, equipment and other supplies to the affected countries. The US Ambassador to the UN said that the collective response to date had not been adequate. “The situation on the ground is dire and is growing worse by the day” the ambassador added.
Kristalina Georgieva, EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, said that there was a reason behind the delay in fighting the Ebola crisis. “When the warning signs were there, it took some time for the international community to pay attention and thus precious time was lost” she explained. To catch up and make up for that lost time, the EU Commission announced it would provide 150 million euros to help deal with the emergency. Commissioner Georgieva urged EU Member States to send more than the agreed 600 million. Following her appeal, a number of EU countries, including Germany and Ireland, have already offered to increase their aid.