Donor countries need to provide an additional 1 billion dollars to root out Ebola and deal with its effects in West Africa, even though infection rates have started to decline, the UN top official on Ebola said Wednesday.


“The devastating spread of the disease has slowed, and the epidemic has started to turn,” UN special Ebola envoy David Nabarro said at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos.

Weekly new cases have declined sharply in Liberia and have also gone down in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the other two countries at the centre of the epidemic.

Nabarro warned, however, that it was too early to talk about the end of the outbreak.

To prevent new transmission of the virus, a massive effort was now needed to search every part of these three countries for potential new cases, and for ensuring that new patients are quickly isolated and treated, he said.

“It’s really tough stuff,” he said about the planned effort.

Donors had provided 1 billion dollars to the response programme of UN agencies and other aid groups, Nabarro said, adding that 1 billion dollars was still needed.


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