EU supports African Union mission to fight Ebola
BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, September 8, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The European Commission will provide €5 million to the newly established mission of the African Union (AU) "Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa" (ASEOWA) that will join the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the region.
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said "We welcome the AU's new mission and will fully support its work. The EU stands side by side with our African partners - we all need to cooperate closely in fighting this deadly disease. Today's funding is part of our contribution to a strong, coordinated international response."
Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "The crisis continues to deteriorate, with Ebola cases surging even in places where it was brought under control. We must join forces in the fight against this deadly epidemic. Europe's humanitarian assistance is reaching the affected areas as we speak. The needs, however, are constantly growing."
ASEOWA is planned to last six months, with headquarters in Liberia and a minimum of 100 staff. It will provide advice to the Ebola coordination structures in the affected countries and engage in joint operations with them. It will also provide medical support in their on-going responses to the Ebola outbreak and assist local authorities and the international community in consolidating the control over the virus' epidemic. It will also support the establishing of institutions and conducive conditions for the control and eradication of Ebola, as well as liaise with humanitarian actors and facilitate, where possible, humanitarian assistance to isolated and quarantined centres.
Today's announcement was made in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) at an AU Partner Group's meeting on Ebola.
€2 million of today's funding come from EU support for fighting Ebola that has been announced by Commissioner Piebalgs last Friday during his official visit to Benin (see IP/14/974); the remaining €3 million will be provided through the so-called African Union Support Programme, an existing EU funding mechanism that provides technical capacity to the AU.