Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia
The rapid spread of the deadly Ebola virus shows that we are at a galvanic moment if we are to stop this unprecedented outbreak. This is a very aggressive virus and the first outbreak of its kind that has grown to become a global emergency. The British Government today hosted an urgently convened meeting in London to urge international partners to step up the fight against the Ebola outbreak. The UN message at the meeting was clear. If we do not act today the consequence for tomorrow could be terrible.
Sweden is a longstanding humanitarian partner to the UN and we clearly hear the call for immediate scaling-up of relief efforts. We agree with the UN’s assessment that it is necessary, and wise, to respond in an extensive and sustainable fashion and that this should be done immediately.
This multi-dimensional crisis requires a multi-dimensional response, marked by flexibility, readiness and coherence. Solid coordination of the international response is crucial, both globally and in the countries. During the last few months Sweden has contributed approximately 3,4 million pounds in humanitarian support to the three most affected countries and we look into the possibility for further contributions.
The Swedish support has mainly focused on civil society organisations fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Sweden has supported a WHO-coordinator in Sierra Leone and undertaken a fact-finding mission in Monrovia to look into the possibility of establishing a basecamp for health workers. Sweden is also contributing resources to combat the Ebola outbreak via the European Union. So far, the EU has mobilised more than 165 million Euros to help fight the Ebola outbreak. We are now looking into the possibilities of contributing to a medevac solution on a case-by-case basis.
If we can isolate 70 % of the cases then the Ebola can be defeated. The conclusion at the meeting was that we urgently need to do more to isolate the disease, support the people and enable countries to grow. That can be done if we all work together.