The FINANCIAL -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing an additional $5 million to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The announcement brings USAID’s commitment for the Ebola response to nearly $19.6 million since the outbreak was first reported in March 2014, according to USAID.
Jeremy Konyndyk, Director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, announced the additional funding in Monrovia, Liberia, during his three-day visit with Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Konyndyk and Frieden arrived in Monrovia on August 24 to assess the impact of the Ebola outbreak first-hand, review response activities, and discuss disease prevention and treatment strategies with Liberian officials.
“It will take a coordinated effort by the entire international community to contain the spread of Ebola. The United States is working closely with the World Health Organization, the governments of affected countries, and other partners on the ground to identify the greatest needs and deploy critical resources to affected areas,” said Konyndyk.
The additional funding will be used to provide health equipment and emergency supplies, train and support health care workers on infection control and case management, support public outreach campaigns, and help build the capacity of local health care and emergency response systems.
The announcement comes just days after USAID airlifted more than 16 tons of medical supplies and emergency equipment to Liberia, including 10,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE), water treatment systems, water tanks capable of storing 10,000 liters each, and 100 rolls of plastic sheeting, which can be used in the construction of Ebola treatment units. USAID deployed a multi-agency Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on August 5 to coordinate the U.S. Government’s Ebola response efforts in West Africa. The DART has more than 25 members operating in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, according to USAID.