Congo Ebola outbreak: EU offers €50m in humanitarian aid

congo ebola outbreak
© iStock/guenterguni

The European Commission has announced it will distribute €50m in funding to support vulnerable communities affected by the outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

€40m of the funding will be allocated towards improving access to free healthcare for Congolese residents, in particular those suffering from malnutrition and residents of areas hit by the spread of Ebola. A further €10m will go towards supporting efforts to address the food security crisis affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the Ebola outbreak was initially declared in 2018, the EU has issued €47m in humanitarian support, enabling residents to access food and clean water, healthcare services and social protection; as well as working with local communities to halt the spread of Ebola. In November 2019, the European Commission granted market authorisation for an Ebola vaccine.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The EU is supporting international efforts to tackle Ebola at all levels, from humanitarian assistance to strengthening the resilience of the national health system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We need to remain vigilant and do all we can to bring this outbreak to an end.”

Alongside its financial commitments, the EU is sharing its expertise and resources with the crisis-hit region; making its ECHO Flight humanitarian air service available, providing training in medical evacuations under its Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as offering long term structural support for the Democratic Republic of Congo’s healthcare system.

Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen said: “The Ebola epidemic in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, along with the food security crisis, are worsening the humanitarian situation. We are stepping up our support to respond to the basic needs of the population. Our new €50m support will increase access to healthcare, improve nutrition status of families, especially children; and access to clean water.”

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