U.S., Global Community Must Do More To Address Ebola In DRC
New York Times: Time Is Running Out to Stop an Ebola Epidemic
“Ebola is ravaging the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a country riven by violent conflict and neglected for decades by the international community. The World Health Organization has less than half of the $98 million it needs to confront the crisis. And the United States government has undermined its own experts with a slow-footed response and cumbersome aid restrictions. … The United States is not the only country that could do more to address the current crisis. The WHO has been much more effective in this outbreak than during previous ones, but its efforts are still being stymied by a colossal funding shortfall. The organization’s decision-making body created a global contingency fund in 2015, after the last major Ebola outbreak, to avoid exactly this situation — but contributions to that fund have fallen far short of what is needed. Were the WHO to declare a ‘public health emergency of international concern,’ it might help close the funding gap by drawing the world’s attention to the growing crisis. But the organization has repeatedly declined to do so and, according to critics, has not adequately explained the reasoning behind its decision. If the current situation doesn’t qualify as a global health emergency, it’s hard to imagine what would” (6/19).