Britain, Sweden donate to struggling UN Ebola Fund
UNITED NATIONS – New pledges of financial aid to a UN Ebola fund have reached $118 million with Britain and Sweden offering sizeable contributions after UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleaded for more money.
Britain pledged $32 million and Sweden $15 million to the fund set up by Ban to fight the Ebola outbreak, that has now killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa, UN officials said Friday, October 24.
A $1-billion-dollar appeal for financing by UN agencies has raised $491 million, nearly half the amount needed to fight the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus. (READ: 5 misconceptions about Ebola)
The United Nations is leading the international response to the Ebola crisis and has set a target of ensuring at least 70% of infected people are getting treatment by December 1.
Ban last week caused a stir when he complained of having only $100,000 in cash on hand for the fund and urged nations to dig deep in their pockets. (READ: Ban Ki-Moon: Time for ‘other countries’ to fight Ebola)
Since then Australia deposited $8.7 million and more countries have committed funds including Venezuela ($5 million), Canada ($3.6 million) and New Zealand ($1.2 million).
China has offered $6 million, Finland $9.1 million, Germany $6.3 million and Denmark $5 million to the trust fund that gives the UN quick access to financing to fight the epidemic.
UN officials say they are hoping to have $100 million in funding secured by the end of the month through formally signed agreements with donors.
So far it has signed commitments for funding totaling $18.7 million, although the pledges stand at $118 million. – Rappler.com