World Bank, USAID, E.U. Announce Additional Funding For DRC Ebola Outbreak; U.S. Senate Hearing, U.N. Security Council Meeting Discuss Response, Challenges

CIDRAP News: Ebola region rocked by more violence as new funds announced
“…[On Wednesday,] the World Bank Group announced an additional $300 million to help scale up response efforts in the DRC. … According to the World Bank, the money will cover the Ebola-affected health zones in DRC and enable the government, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, World Food Programme, International Organization for Migration, and other responders to step up the frontline health response. Also [Wednesday], the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced an additional $38 million for the outbreak, which includes $15 million directed toward the WHO. USAID has given $136 million to the outbreak since August of 2018…” (Soucheray, 7/24).

Devex: Ebola funding increases as crisis worsens
“The European Union is set to allocate a further €30 million ($33.4 million), and USAID has committed over $38 million in additional funding to the Ebola crisis as donors come under pressure to up their commitments. The World Bank, which has been under scrutiny recently for its Ebola funding disbursements, has also announced $300 million in additional grants and credits for the response. Monique Pariat, director general of the humanitarian aid department at the European Commission, told members of the European Parliament that the outbreak will continue ‘well into 2020.’ … The $300 million from the World Bank will come from the International Development Association — its funding window for lowest-income countries — and the bank’s Crisis Response Window. … The bank says the amount is ‘approximately half’ of anticipated funding needs in the fourth strategic response plan, which has yet to be finalized…” (Chadwick/Ravelo, 7/25).

Devex: U.S. Senators search for ways to aid Ebola response in latest hearing
“U.S. Senators were looking for ways Congress might be able to assist in furthering Ebola response efforts at a hearing on Wednesday. In the 2014 outbreak, part of the answer was a $5.4 billion special appropriations package, but administration officials testifying at the hearing said money may not be the solution now. … Senators at a U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing expressed their concern for the situation, summed up by the subcommittee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, as ‘everybody up here wants to help you, give us a quick shopping list of how we can help you.’ But the panel of administration officials from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the State Department didn’t exactly take him up on the offer. The hearing instead touched on a number of issues involved in the ongoing epidemic — including funding, DRC leadership, and security concerns…” (Saldinger, 7/25).

U.N. News: ‘Deadly environment’ plus ‘political and social’ obstacles hinder Ebola fight in DR Congo, Security Council hears
“The problems of eradicating Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not only medical, but also linked ‘to a variety of political and social factors,’ the head of the U.N. mission in the country told the Security Council on Wednesday. ‘Along with continuing high levels of community distrust around the response to the epidemic,’ Leila Zerrougui — U.N. special representative and head of the U.N.’s Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) — said that militants, including the ADF and Mai-Mai groups, have caused ‘a deadly environment’ for the people working to counter the virus, ‘to the point of being specifically threatened and killed by armed groups’…” (7/24).

Washington Times: USAID offers nearly $40M more for Ebola fight
“…The [U.S.] money will support on-the-ground efforts to track the disease and prevent new infections, train health workers, and promote safe burials, so the disease does not spread from deceased patients to community members. Beyond the DRC, the money will help Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda prepare for possible cases…” (Howell, 7/24).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg, The Hill, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Nature, Reuters (2), San Diego Union-Tribune, Science, and U.S. News & World Report.

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