U.S., Other High-Income Countries Must Increase Support To WHO, DRC Ebola Response

Nature: To contain Ebola, the United States must fulfill its promise to the World Health Organization
Editorial Board

“…If the purse strings tighten … and the WHO cannot continue its work, the [Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)] will almost certainly pick up speed. It’s only a matter of time until the virus crosses borders. And yet the governments of the world’s seven largest economies have not committed sufficient funds to the WHO. … Among the G7 nations, Germany and the United Kingdom are on track with combined pledges of nearly $16 million to the WHO’s Ebola response in North Kivu this year. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, and other non-governmental donors have contributed almost $8 million this year. But the United States, Canada, France, Italy, and Japan have not contributed their share. And because the United States is relied upon as the world’s biggest health-emergency funder, its shortfall is disconcerting. … At last month’s G20 summit in Japan, high-income countries, including the United States, declared their full support for the Ebola response. They must now make good on that promise to the WHO. If countries procrastinate, the world risks a repeat of the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak, in which a slow response contributed to the loss of more than 11,300 lives in Africa and a cost to taxpayers of more than $3 billion. The WHO needs just a fraction of this to prevent a horrific repeat of history” (7/9).

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