Friday

26th Apr 2019

EU urges stronger Ebola response from member states

The EU is pressing member states to step up efforts against Ebola as the epidemic continues to spread through parts of west Africa.

On Monday (15 September), the EU commissioners for health, development, and humanitarian aid urged member states to strengthen support to the region “where the situation continues to deteriorate”.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • EU has deployed mobile laboratories to diagnose and confirm cases of Ebola (Photo: European Commission)

The commissioners said the countries need effective treatment centres and more health workers.

“The EU is firmly committed to supporting the affected countries and their development in the immediate and longer-term,” said the commissioners in a joint statement.

The EU pledged €150 million to fight the disease and has sent in mobile laboratories to diagnose and confirm cases as well as to train laboratory technicians.

But a persistent lack of supplies and staff means aid workers on the ground are having turn away patients in an outbreak which has so far killed over 2,400 people, primarily in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

Although the survival rate is at 47 percent, higher than previous outbreaks, the speed and breadth of the spread has caught many by surprise with some infections now being reported in Nigeria and Senegal.

Overwhelmed aid organisations complain that a piecemeal response from the governments dealing with the epidemic as well as from the international community has made the relief effort more difficult.

Earlier this month, Sierra Leone proposed to lock down the country for three days starting on 19 September, which the charity Medecins Sans Frontiers says will only exacerbate the level of mistrust between patients and health workers.

Over the weekend, Liberia’s president sacked 10 high-ranking officials for having left the country.

Governments have also imposed travel restrictions and border closures, while airlines have grounded numerous flights.

Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama described some of the measures as a “panic” response, which he says has undermined efforts to fight the disease.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council is set to convene an emergency session on Thursday in Geneva to discuss international efforts to contain the epidemic.

“It is crucial that council members discuss the status of the epidemic, confer on a coordinated international response and begin the process of marshalling our collective resources to stop the spread of the disease," said the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers, reports Reuters.

The UN says its needs at least €465 million to purchase supplies and hire new doctors to send to the regions affected.

The Americans, for their part, are also set to deploy some 3,000 US troops in the area.

US officials say the troops will help train new health workers, construct facilities, distribute home health care kits, establish a joint command base in Monrovia, and conduct an information campaign on how to handle suspected cases.

US president Barack Obama on Tuesday is also set to ask Congress for $88 million to help fight the outbreak.

Trump's Israel plan to 'test' EU resolve

EU countries ought to draw "red lines" for US president Donald Trump on the Arab-Israeli conflict, Herman Van Rompuy, the former head of the EU Council, has said.

News in Brief

  1. Talks to merge Germany's two largest banks collapse
  2. EU and Japan back Iran nuclear deal despite US
  3. China addresses EU concerns on belt and road plan
  4. EU: Russian citizenship plan 'attacks' Ukraine sovereignty
  5. Deutsche Bank hands over Trump loan documents
  6. UN: Europe is badly prepared for new refugee crisis
  7. Macron to set out 'Yellow vest' counter measures
  8. Italy requests EU action plan for new Libya migrant wave

Opinion

Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all

The foreign affairs minister of Haiti calls for the replacement EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific 'Cotonou' agreement of 2000 to be updated to take account climate change, infrastructure and tourism to help the country transition away from aid-dependence.

EU migrants sneaking into US from Mexico

Almost 1,000 Romanian nationals were caught trying to sneak into the United States in 2017, of which around half attempted to cross via Mexico. Nationals from countries like Hungary and the UK were also intercepted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Migration and climate are EU's top priorities, Macron says
  2. Greens commit to air quality 'super commissioner'
  3. Far-right Facebook networks removed before Spain election
  4. EU and Japan in delicate trade talks
  5. Closer EU-Caribbean ties mean greater prosperity for all
  6. Details of EU Brexit talks with Blair and Soros kept secret
  7. Weber vows to block Nord Stream 2 amid 'sue' threat
  8. 'Next Juncker' must fix EU's corporate power problem

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us