Ebola virus and UN help

(Photo - AP Pictures)The United Nations in Sierra Leone said that an additional $18.13 million is needed to strengthen efforts to halt the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

An epidemic of Ebola that began in Guinea in March 2014 has now spread to neighbouring West African countries. The outbreak is the most severe epidemic of the disease to have occurred to date, and has been declared an international emergency by the World Health Organization. As of 25 August 2014, the virus had claimed over 1,400 lived in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, or other bodily fluids of infected animals. In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

Beyond the death and suffering caused by the disease, the crisis could have lasting development consequences in the region, where many countries are still recovering from years of lasting conflicts and instability. Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is projected to lose $13 billion in lost GDP due to Ebola while individual livelihoods have shrunk due to lost wages and lost productivity. The spreading danger of Ebola will have big impact on economic growth in these regions. Sectors such as tourism, agriculture and private sector investment are reduced, and development programmes may have to be postponed or interrupted in affected areas. UN country teams are working closely with the World health Organization, which is coordinating the medical response to the disease.

In order to help to contain the spreading danger of disease the United Nations takes some action and involves itself into planning and conducting screenings at international airports, moreover provides support for local governments. The UN and World Health Organization used the occasion of World Humanitarian Day to draw attention to the threat of this disease and support for all people in West Africa. Additionally, as part of United Nations assistance program for fighting Ebola, at the end of last month West African countries  received 63 metric tonnes of supplies in order to strenghten healthcare system. It contains basic emergency supplies to protect health care workers and prevent danger of infection.

More information here:

UNDP

UN News Centre (UN response to Ebola outbreak)

UN News Centre (Ebola outbreak in Guinea)

Prepared by: Karolina Kaušylaitė

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