This ship in Las Palmas, Spain, is being loaded with WFP supplies and 1,920 metric tons of USAID-donated commodities and headed for Ebola response operations in Guinea. Photo: WFP/Enrique Pulido

The United Nations and Governments of countries at the forefront of efforts to turn back the unfolding Ebola outbreak in West Africa have agreed to ensure that the UN system adopts a coordinated approach to global support being mobilized for national-level crisis response plans.

Wrapping up a four-day meeting in Accra, Ghana on strengthening the international community’s support to efforts by Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to tackle the Ebola crisis, top-level officials from the UN system and partner organizations reaffirmed the need to move rapidly and in a coordinated, precise manner to defeat the disease.

According to a press release from the Ghana-based UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), today’s meeting produced an operational framework to ensure the wider UN system adopts a unified and coordinated approach to the international support being provided to national response plans.

This comes as the UN has shifted into high gear to support the efforts of hard-hit countries in tackling the outbreak on all fronts, from food aid to delivery of building supplies, and providing healing and training for survivors.

Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters in New York late last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the resilience of West Africa’s people and governments but underscored that ?they have asked for our help?we need to turn pledges into action. We need more doctors, nurses, equipment, treatment centres and medevac capacities.?

As the scale-up continued, UNMEER chief Anthony Banbury welcomed the arrival last Wednesday in Accra of a massive German aircraft which will deliver needed supplies and material to affected countries in the region. “This flight is a welcome reflection of the international community’s support for the efforts to stop Ebola and help those affected by it ? this support is vital if we are to stop the virus,” he said.

Today’s meeting in Accra was attended by the Chef de Cabinet of the UN Secretary-General, Susana Malcorra; the Director General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan; and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Etharin Cousin.

Also present were the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro and UNMEER chief, Mr. Banbury.

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