The Gates Foundation is committing $50m to help tackle Ebola in affected countries. The deadly virus has claimed 2,296 lives across West Africa, with Liberia hardest hit.
The Foundation – set up by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda – says it will immediately release “flexible funds” to UN agencies and other organisations involved in the work against Ebola, so they can buy badly needed supplies.
And it says it will work with partners to speed up the development of drugs and vaccines against the virus, which has claimed almost 2,300 lives so far.
This comes on top of other funds announced by the UK and US governments, as well as the European Union.
Ebola funds pledged
- Britain – $40m and a 62-bed medical treatment centre in Sierra Leone, to open within eight weeks
- European Union – $180m to help governments in West Africa strengthen their health services – and to help local people by securing food and water supplies
- US – $100m, including funding for more than 100 extra African health workers to help run treatment units in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
But some aid charities say that the most urgent need in Africa is for expert teams in bio-hazard containment.
Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned about a “lethally inadequate” international response, saying disaster response teams needed to be dispatched in collaboration with the affected African countries.