US: Japan donates US$18 million to fight Ebola, Australia sends medical personnel

New York, US (PANA) - The Government of Japan has donated US$18 million to boost the fight against Ebola in three affected West African countries, namely Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric who made the announcement at a news briefing in New York on Friday said the UN Secretary-General had thanked the Japanese government for its kind gesture.

He said that donation brought Japanese contributions to US$40 million, which was the amount pledged by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the UN General Assembly in September.

Mr. Dujarric, said: "Today we want to express our sincere thanks to the Government of Japan for their latest contribution to the international effort against the Ebola virus. The Government of Japan announced that it will be providing US$4.02 million each to the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone."

He noted that, the money was to go toward the purchase of medical and epidemic prevention equipment to combat the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

The spokesperson disclosed that, almost US$6 million was being provided to support activities of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which has a three-month mandate to combat the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Mr. Dujarric also added that, the UN was encouraging other governments who may not have yet contributed to the efforts against Ebola to do so.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday welcomed the Australia government's commitment to fight Ebola by providing health professionals and more funding to boost the fight against the Ebola virus disease.

WHO said Australia had contracted a private health service provider to manage and run an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone, stating that the move was part of a British-led plan to open a series of large treatment centres in the country.

It said Australia would also send a contingent of international staff to support local health care workers in the treatment centres.

WHO noted that lack of access to treatment beds had made many people with Ebola virus disease in the three affected West African countries remain in their communities, thereby increasing the likelihood of transmitting the virus.

According to WHO, of the more than 4,700 Ebola treatment centre beds needed in the three heavily affected West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, only 22 per cent were currently operational.

Nearly 5,000 people have died from Ebola and more than 10,000 people have been infected with the virus in the three countries.
-0- PANA AA/MA 7Nov2014

07 november 2014 20:40:44

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