The United States played a leading role in the international response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, providing the most financial support, mobilizing U.S. staff across the federal government, and jumpstarting international efforts to strengthen global health security. As this month’s new outbreak unfolds in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the U.S. so far is playing a more limited role.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation brief examines key differences and changes since 2014 that are shaping how the U.S. and international community are responding in the DRC. These differences include:
While the current outbreak is in its early stages, the brief notes that the U.S. has been somewhat quicker to join the international response than in 2014. Multiple U.S. agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (providing epidemiological and laboratory support) and USAID (providing technical assistance such as mobile laboratories), are involved – though largely in a supporting role.
The brief also explores the U.S. budget for global health response efforts, including the Trump Administration’s May 8 request for Congress to rescind $252 million in remaining Ebola funds authorized in 2014 but not yet spent.