The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Tuesday welcomed the growing number of financial and in-kind commitments many countries are making to the global Ebola response.
In a statement on contributions to the UN Ebola Multi-Partner Trust Fund in New York, Ban described Ebola as a major global problem that demands a massive and immediate global response.
The needs, according to him, include trained medical personnel, mobile laboratories, vehicles, helicopters and protective equipment.
The secretary-general established the UN Ebola Multi-Partner Trust Fund to provide a flexible, accountable, strategic and transparent platform to finance critical unfunded priorities and to help reduce the rate of Ebola transmission.
He specifically thanked the governments of Australia, Colombia and Venezuela for their financial deposits and commitments to the Trust Fund totalling nearly 14 million U.S dollars.
He also thanked the Republic of Korea, which announced its pledge of five million dollars to the Trust Fund.
“The secretary-general urges all countries that have contributed to consider what more they can do, and those who have yet to contribute to do so as a matter of urgency,” the statement said.
“The only way to end the Ebola crisis is to end the epidemic at its source; the people and governments of West Africa are demonstrating significant resilience.
“The world has a duty to provide the assistance for which they have asked,” Ban said.
It will be recalled that during the 69th debate of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 25, world leaders pledged one billion dollars to combat Ebola in West Africa.
More than 120 world leaders participated in the meeting, including President Goodluck Jonathan, Guinean President Alpha Cond?, Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone joined by teleconference
In a related development, the secretary-general’s spokeman, Stehane DuJarric, told UN correspondents that a ship, carrying over 7,000 tonnes of rice, mobilised by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) had arrived in Monrovia and Freetown, for onward distribution of the items to over 600,000 households.
He said the WFP had also mobilised no fewer than 700 aid workers.
The WFP said that it had, since March, provided food assistance to more than 430,000 people affected by the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
It said it was ramping up services for a unified humanitarian effort under the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response by providing life-saving food assistance to quarantined communities that had been cut off from markets.
It said it was also utilising its delivery expertise to transport medical supplies and basic infrastructure, including tents, warehouses and prefabricated offices to affected areas.