The government has committed to providing an additional €1 million to the UN to fight Ebola in West Africa.
When making the announcement earlier today, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said:
“The latest grim figures from the World Health Organisation show that almost 14,000 people have contracted, or are suspected of having contracted, the disease, while almost 5,000 have lost their lives.
The international community must work urgently to support the worst-affected countries to bring the disease under control. We must stop it at its source.
Ireland provides €16 million annually to West Africa through partner governments and through NGOs.
Last month Junior Minister State Seán Sherlock visited Sierra Leone.
He said that witnessing the extent of the crisis firsthand made him realise that “a stronger international response was needed”.
While in Freetown I met with Anthony Banbury, Secretary General Ban’s Special Representative and Head of UN Mission for Emergency Ebola Response. It is clear that stopping the spread of Ebola requires a comprehensive and coordinated response from the international community.
Yesteday the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) held its weekly meeting.
The NPHET reiterated that, should Ebola occur in Ireland, there will be only one or two cases and they will be treated in the National Isolation Unit in the Mater Hospital. There are no plans to treat Ebola cases in other acute hospitals.
To date, Ireland has provided direct funding of almost €3 million for Ebola treatment facilities in both Sierra Leone and Liberia, as well as for contact-tracing, community sensitisation and child nutrition programmes.