Minister Sherlock announces over €600,000 in funding and a major dispatch of emergency supplies to tackle Ebola in West Africa

By Ireland - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

DUBLIN, Ireland, September 22, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock T.D., today announced €600,000 in funding to support communities battling the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries which have been worst affected by the epidemic.

Ireland will also provide 42 tonnes of emergency supplies, including blankets, tents, mosquito nets and water tanks.

Announcing the emergency aid, Minister Sherlock said:

"I am gravely concerned about the continued spread of Ebola and the devastating impact on communities and families in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Many of the people affected were already extremely vulnerable.

“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the worst ever, with more than 5,000 people now reported to have been infected. Health services in these countries are already over-whelmed and the World Health Organisation has warned of an exponential increase in Ebola cases over the coming months.”

Ireland will provide over €600,000 to UNICEF to provide life-saving nutritional supplies to children who have been affected by the crisis. Minister Sherlock also announced that more than 42 tonnes of Irish stocks including blankets, tarpaulins, tents, mosquito nets, jerry cans and soap, will be airlifted from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Ghana. They will be distributed by the World Food Programme, Goal, and Concern, to assist survivors of Ebola and affected vulnerable children in Sierra Leone.

Minister Sherlock added:

“A member of Ireland's Rapid Response Corps was deployed last weekend to Dakar, Senegal, to work with the World Food Programme to set up an air transit centre for use by the UN Humanitarian Air Service.”

Minister Sherlock called on the international community to urgently scale up their efforts to combat the epidemic:

“While the international response has improved significantly, we must do more to prevent further spread. Ireland is playing our part. This additional funding and the deployments of Irish emergency stocks are the latest in a series of steps I have authorised to scale up our efforts to fight the Ebola virus.”