The EU has announced it will distribute an additional €5 million in funding to support the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The newly announced funding brings the EU’s total Democratic Republic of Congo aid provision to €17 million since 2018 and is aimed at supporting efforts within the country to tackle its largest ever outbreak of Ebola, which has seen more than 1,000 recorded deaths to date. The funding will be distributed to the World Health Organisation and other partners to ensure provision of healthcare and increased efforts towards disease prevention; promote education and understanding of the disease among local communities; and provide Ebola survivors and affected families with both “social protection” and nutritional support.
Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and the EU’s Ebola Coordinator, said: “The EU is committed to continue helping partners and the authorities fight Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo for as long as it takes. Since the outbreak last year, the EU has provided funding, experts, medical evacuation equipment, our humanitarian flight service and helped neighbouring countries. We are also supporting the health sector in the country and the development of Ebola vaccines and treatments. Yet the disease remains a serious threat and all must be done to curb the epidemic. Aid workers must also be free to do their lifesaving job without the threat of violence.”
Aid providers and healthcare workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo have faced a range of severe and continuous obstacles, including poor health provision infrastructure, high levels of population mobility leading to increased risk of contagion; and hostile responses to efforts to prevent the spread of Ebola. Meanwhile ongoing conflicts in the region and a series of violent attacks directed specifically towards Ebola response teams and treatment centres have put the safety of healthcare and aid workers at risk.