EU allocates €50 million to fight Ebola and malnutrition in the Democratic Republic of Congo

ebola

WHO/Chris Black A nurse comforts a patient who has been diagnosed to have the Ebola virus.

This article is brought to you in association with OECD.


The European Commission has today announced €50 million to help the most vulnerable people affected by the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The funding will address urgent needs and provide continued support to the Congolese population, notably to improve food security and access to quality health services.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, said:“The Ebola epidemic in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with the food security crisis, are worsening the humanitarian situation. We are stepping up our support to respond to the basic needs of the population. Our new €50 million support will increase access to health care, improve nutrition status of families, especially children, and access to clean water”.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The EU is supporting international efforts to tackle Ebola at all levels, from humanitarian assistance to strengthening the resilience of the national health system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We need to remain vigilant and do all we can to bring this outbreak to an end”.

The bulk of the funding, €40 million, will provide access to free and quality health care, including for malnutrition, for those living in Ebola affected areas.

The remaining €10 million will help tackle the food security crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second most serious suchcrisis in the world.

The announcement was made in Addis Ababa on 2 December by the EU Ambassador to the African Union, Ranieri Sabatucci, during the “Africa Against Ebola: A Private Sector and Partners Forum” organised by the African Union.

Background

The European Union has contributed substantially to the Ebola response through a range of measures and fully in line with the Strategic Ebola Response Plan (SRP) set up by the DRC Health Minister in cooperation with the World Health Organisation. Since the beginning of the ongoing Ebola outbreak, the EU provided €47 million in humanitarian funding for aid organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo involved in various actions in the Ebola response in affected and high-risk areas. SRP version 4 covers the period July to December 2019. In order to end the outbreak, SRP4 acknowledges the importance to also address the main and most urgent basic humanitarian needs of the population in the affected areas, while enhancing ownership and acceptance of the Ebola response among the population.

In addition to its financial support to the Ebola response, the EU is also providing experts, making available the ECHO Flight humanitarian air service to help humanitarian work on the ground, supporting vaccine development and research, and supporting the health sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, the EU is providing training in medical evacuations through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

The Commission provides long-term structural support to the health system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (€180 million from 2014 to 2019).

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