9 September 2014
UN Secretary-General issued ‘international rescue call’ to halt Ebola epidemic
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon vowed to mobilise the UN in every possible way to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and issued an ‘international rescue call’ for a massive surge in assistance, warning that ‘the world can no longer afford to short-change global public health’.
‘The next few weeks will be crucial. The people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in particular are looking to us for support. They are counting on us for a massive surge in assistance: more doctors, nurses and beds; more equipment, trucks and other vehicles’, the Secretary-General said. He urged the international community to contribute to the WHO Roadmap and to provide the USD 600 million needed for supplies in West Africa in order to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries within six to nine months, and to prevent the international spread of the virus.
Mr. Ban was flanked by Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, and Dr. David Nabarro, the Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola, who are spearheading the UN response. ‘We are mobilizing in every possible way’, Mr. Ban said after convening senior leaders and experts from across the UN system on next steps in managing the epidemic. ‘We are together today to send out an international rescue call.’
He also said that there needs to be better awareness and understanding about the outbreak, and also urged airlines and shipping companies not to cancel flights and docking to the affected countries, adding that such restrictions will only keep medical teams from reaching people most in need.