Ebola i Guinea

Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, cc

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Sida continues to increase its support against Ebola crisis

Published: 8 October 2014 Updated: 8 October 2014

Ebola continues to spread across West Africa. So far 7 400 people have been infected by the virus and 3 431 reported dead. Sweden responds to the crisis by increasing its support for the fight against Ebola with 105 million Swedish kronor (USD 15 million), in addition to over 139 million (USD 20 million) already allocated funds. Sida focuses a large part of the support to Liberia where the population is worst affected.

The new support through Sida is allocated to UN bodies (SEK 80 million) and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) (SEK 25 million).

The UN support focuses on the following areas:

  • To find and identify people with Ebola: The support will, for example, help to increase the national agencies’ surveillance capacity, aid the response at border crossings and increase knowledge at local health centres so that the infection can be identified at an early stage.
  • Care for ill people and infection control: The support will, for example, be used for equipment and medical supplies as well as for special care of children and pregnant women.
  • Transportation and fuel: The support will be used for transportation of personnel, medical equipment, personal protective equipment and other supplies.

The support from Sida is channelled through UNICEF (SEK 40 million) WFP (SEK 20 million) and  WHO (SEK 20 million).

“WHO will make sure that medical equipment, educated personnel and personal protective equipment are available at location and that temporary hospitals are put in place. UNICEF will work socially with information but also with facilitating care for ill people and isolating those who gets infected,” explains Ewa Nunes Sörensen, Head of aid to Liberia, Sida.

In addition, WFP will work with food safety in the country, which is incredibly important as the Ebola outbreak hits hard on the economies of the worst affected countries. A task lies in preventing people from hunting wild animals for food since these animals can carry the virus. It is also difficult to make use of the soils when many people are ill.

“Many people cannot harvest their crops but become totally dependent on food coming in from the outside,” tells Ewa Nunes Sörensen.

A large part of the support from Sida will focus on Liberia – the country worst affected by the Ebola crisis. Nine out of ten Liberians live in active transmission areas.

“Liberia is the most affected country because it is still in a post-conflict situation. The health system did not manage to cope with an epidemic of this scope, and health facilities have collapsed as a result of the increased pressure,” says Ewa Nunes Sörensen.

Sida’s support to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) reaches SEK 25 million and covers accommodation with 200 beds for hospital personnel and a team of two doctors and three nurses. MSB will also support modules in direct connection to health clinics. These will be used as resting rooms and offices in order to ensure quick recoveries and allow for multiple working shifts in one day.

Facts:

The Ebola outbreak was identified in Guinea 21 March 2014 and has since then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone and further to Nigeria.

WHO has declared that the situation in West Africa is an international public health emergency.

So far 7 470 cases and 3 431 death have been reported (as of 3 October 2014). The numbers continue to increase.

Sweden has allocated 139.5 MSEK in support for the fight against Ebola since April 2014. The support targets actions in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The humanitarian response to prevent the spread of Ebola in the affected West African countries have been hindered by poor infrastructure and already weak health systems.


Page owner: The Communication Department

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