The European Commission has allocated € 7.2 million to strengthen its response to an outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing the total amount of EU aid to the combat the deadly virus at €12.83 million in 2018.
The funding will help partner organisations working on the ground to deploy extra capacities to the affected areas. It will improve surveillance and the capacity to trace victims of Ebola, notably early cases. It also covers communication with affected communities on risks and how to prevent the spread of the disease including psycho-social support and preparedness for safe and dignified burials.
“We need to win the fight against the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo which has claimed, so far, over 150 lives. Overall EU support includes technical expertise, humanitarian air service, research funding, and humanitarian assistance. We are working closely with the World Health Organisation and the national authorities to fight the disease. We are not letting our guard down and we will continue our support for as long as it takes” said the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
The current outbreak affects the country’s eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, both areas of open and ongoing conflict that are densely populated and with considerable internal movements of people.
Previously, the EU provided assistance through its humanitarian air service, transporting personnel, supplies, and equipment to Ebola-affected areas. The bloc is also financially supporting the Red Cross to reinforce preparedness and prevention measures in Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi, while the Commission is also financially supporting Ebola vaccine development with over €160 million in aid.
The European Commission is in the process of implementing a €155 million cooperation programme to support the health sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which aims to strengthen services both at a national level and in seven provinces that have been or are at risk of being affected by an Ebola outbreak.