DR Congo: efforts to control Ebola epidemic continue, UN food relief agency doubles assistance to affected people

WFP/Jacques David An Ebola health worker in protective gear feeds a baby at an Ebola treatment centre in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (30 January 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


With Ebola accelerating in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced on Friday that it plans to scale up and double food assistance to people affected by the disease.

One-year after the beginning of the complex outbreak in the volatile eastern part of the DRC – and ten days since the “alarming confirmation of a first case in Goma, the region’s biggest city, with some two million people” – WFP’s Spokesperson Herve Verhoosel said that the UN agency is “stepping up preparations for a potential further escalation of the epidemic”.

Over the next six months, WFP will nearly double its food assistance and nutritional support to 440,000 Ebola-affected people in DR Congo, Mr. Verhoosel announced, adding that this would include “primarily contacts of victims and their families, as well as confirmed and suspected cases”.

According to estimates, expected new contacts are at roughly 50 per case, which equals a total of 75,000 contacts in the next five months.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva, he said that given the challenges of “tracing contacts in the conflict zone that is eastern DRC, food distributions are key to the containment effort, helping as they do to limit the movement of people who could spread the disease, and to the vital vaccination drive”.

Since WFP distributions are carried out at agreed sites for “contacts” of Ebola-affected people, families receive one-week rations, encouraging them to come back to the distribution site where they can also receive a medical check-up at least once per week, over the course of 28 days.

Ebola campaign in support of frontline responders

WFP’s regional response also includes efforts to expand the fleet of aircraft dedicated to the Ebola campaign, in support of frontline responders, including UN agencies and NGO personnel.

Mr. Verhoosel said that “with popular mistrust of responders still widespread and hampering containment, WFP is intensifying efforts to encourage community cooperation”. In some cases, “beneficiaries are afraid to even be seen with WFP food because many have been threatened”, he added.

To respond to those challenges, WFP is planning to increase the number of primary schools in Ebola-affected areas of DRC to provide with nutritious hot lunches, which typically consists of rice, beans, fortified vegetable oil and salt.

“Provision of school meals encourages communities to cooperate with responders. For many pupils, this is the main – if not the only – meal of the day in a region of pronounced chronic malnutrition. The number of children slated to receive school meals to rise from 17,000 to 70,000”, WFP’s Spokesperson said.

Crucial funding needed to combat Ebola

UN agencies, including WFP and the World Health Organization (WHO), are hoping that the designation earlier this month of Ebola as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern will speed up the release of crucial funding to combat it.

WFP requires $50 million over the next six months to implement its response and preparedness actions in DRC and neighbouring countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The agency has set up 69 screening and isolation units at the major border crossings between DRC and the priority countries, and in hospitals.

Earlier this week, the World Bank announced the mobilization of $300 million to scale up support for the global response to the Ebola epidemic in the DR Congo.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Challenges facing the COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

Meet Alice, the battery-powered plane that could herald the age of electric air travel

Britain in and out of the EU

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

Cocaine and opium production worldwide hit ‘absolute record highs’ – major threat to public health says UN study

Ebola: EU releases additional €3.5 million to tackle epidemic

Voices of young climate action activists ‘give me hope’ says UN chief

European Semester 2019 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to advance sustainable and inclusive economic growth

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

5 ways COVID-19 has changed workforce management

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Coronavirus Global Response: European Commission pledges €300 million to Gavi

Trump’s MAGA policy remains unchanged as EU warns to impose additional retaliation tariffs on US products

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

COVID-19 creates a perfect storm for the extreme weather season

Healthcare for refugees: a necessary symbiosis of medicine and politics

EU climate law: MEPs want to increase emission reductions target to 60% by 2030

A geared turbofan at Pratt & Whitney's production hub in West Palm Beach (copyright: Pratt & Whitney - a UTC Company- 2018; Source: Pratt & Whitney's website, media center)

The EU Commission approves UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins under conditions

Slovakia and its failure to abide by the European law

How to help an ageing population stay wealthy for longer

Soil pollution ‘jeopardizing’ life on Earth, UN agency warns on World Day

“Beyond the beach: tackling plastic pollution upstream”, a Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

Google’s bare truth: Europe’s Chief denies EU accusations but admits they “don’t always get it right”

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

Our health systems are under pressure. Here are 9 ways to remedy that

Hardware is a cybersecurity risk. Here’s what we need to know

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

What talent means in the post-COVID-19 workplace

What will Germany look like after the next election?

New legislation on transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment model in the food chain

This woman changed the world of work – and you’ve probably never heard of her

‘Grave consequences’ await if new deadly escalation of violence in Gaza continues – top UN official

The Dead Sea is drying up, and these two countries have a plan to save it

African elephants under continued threat of poaching, warns UN-backed report

AIESEC Vlog

Four million have now fled Venezuela, UN ramps up aid to children who remain

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

As ride-hailing firms drive into the future, who is being left behind?

Syrian crisis: €5.3 billion mobilised by donors for 2021 and beyond at 5th Brussels Conference

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

New round of bargaining for the 2014 EU budget late in autumn

Sudan: European Union provides €30 million in humanitarian assistance

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

UN evaluates progress in improving peacekeeping performance

The US + Britain trivialize mainland Europe, NATO and the EU

Khashoggi case highlights ‘very worrying practice’ of overseas abductions, says UN expert

What does global health translate into?

How Costa Rica’s environment minister talks to his daughter about climate change

Polluted lungs: health in the center of environment discussion

Here are 3 lessons Europe can learn from China’s flourishing start-ups

Geopolitics and investment in emerging markets after COVID-19

Canada needs to increase foreign aid flows in line with its renewed engagement

EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

Coronavirus: EU global response to fight the pandemic

SCADA Security Conference 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic

Brexit: Six more months of political paralysis or a May-Corbyn compromise?

COVID-19 vaccination campaigns and their challenges

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s