The European Union (EU) is increasing its efforts by an additional 8 million euros ($10.71 million) to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, an official statement said on Friday.
This is the fourth increase of EU assistance for this crisis. It brings the Commission's aid in 2014 to fight the Ebola epidemic, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has just declared a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern", to 11.9 million euros.
In addition, a second "European mobile laboratory" will be deployed in the coming days, most likely to Sierra Leone, to provide essential support to diagnostics and testing.
The additional EU funding will provide immediate healthcare to the affected communities and help contain the spread of the epidemic. The aid will be channeled through the European Commission's humanitarian partners on the ground, including UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations.
The Ebola epidemic is taking a devastating toll in the four affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. To date, the outbreak has seen 1,711 cases and 932 deaths, including many health workers.
(Xinhua News Agency August 8, 2014)