Ebola Outbreak: US announces over $38 million additional financing to contain outbreak in DRC

The United States government is providing over $38 million in additional financing to assist in containing the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

This was contained in a press release on USAID website on Wednesday. In announcing the additional assistance, USAID noted in the press release that the amount included a new $15 million to be given to the World Health Organization WHO).

With this additional financing to be disbursed through US development agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the total contribution of US to the current fight against Ebola in DRC since the outbreak started in August 2018 is now in excess of $136 million.

USAID stated in the release that United States was providing life-saving assistance that was critical to ending the Ebola outbreak.

“With this funding, the United States is providing lifesaving assistance, through on-the-ground partners, including activities to prevent and control infections in health facilities, enhanced surveillance for the disease, training for health care workers, community-engagement efforts, the promotion of safe and dignified burials, and food, to support people and communities affected by Ebola. In addition, the United States is funding critical preparedness efforts in the neighboring countries of Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda. The funding announced today is in addition to contributions from other U.S. Departments and Agencies and the U.S. private sector,” the release says.

The release noted further that the current outbreak in DRC was unique, given the conflicts that have ravaged the north-eastern part of the country notably at North Kivu and Ituri Provinces.

These conflicts, compounded by difficulty in earning the trust of local communities, have hampered efforts geared towards bringing the outbreak under control.

Consequently, “a robust, unified response by the Government of the DRC, the United Nations, other neighboring countries, the United States, and the international community in partnership with local communities is critical to stopping the spread of the disease,” USAID recommended in the release.

According to the release, the US remained the largest single country contributor to the fight against Ebola in DRC, and it shall remain unwavering in her commitment to ending the outbreak.

However, the statement called on other countries and donors to rise up to the challenge posed by the Ebola outbreak and join hands with US to respond to an outbreak that has been classified as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

“As we continue to scale up our assistance, we strongly encourage other donors to provide additional funding to help end this outbreak,” the release concluded.

You may wish to read the full press release on USAID website.

Samuel Abiona

Samuel Abiona

Samuel Abiona is a medical doctor by training and a writer by passion. Samuel holds a postgraduate degree in Public Health. He believes that communicating medical knowledge goes beyond writing technical reviews. Samuel thus uses his expertise in public health and health systems research to transmit technical information for both academic and general audience. Please email samuel.abiona@essaysinhealth.com to contact this author directly or use the contact page and your information will be passed on to him.