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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 6 October 2014

Ebola: EU helps deliver aid to Sierra Leone

Medical equipment provided by the United Kingdom was ferried into Freetown, Sierra Leone in West Africa this weekend. The cargo included two ambulances, equipment for the construction and operation of a 92-bed treatment facility and four other vehicles.

The UK is the latest Member State to contribute vital assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM). Previously, Austria, France and Belgium have made use of the EUCPM to deliver sanitation products, medical isolation equipment and experts to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in support of the international community's ongoing efforts to stop the spread of the Ebola epidemic.

"Ebola is taking an ever harsher toll in the West Africa region. Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the Commission helps to deploy as rapidly as possible assistance provided by Member States to help stop the spread of this dreadful epidemic," said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection. "Our job is to make sure that European aid reaches those who need it as fast as possible".

Further assistance, including nutritional supplies, will be ferried from Europe to West Africa in the coming days as part of the coordinated EU response.

Background

The European Commission has been scaling up its response to the Ebola epidemic since March 2014 and has until now pledged some €180 million to help the affected countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria). This assistance comes on top of assistance offered by the EU Member States. Humanitarian experts, mobile laboratories and teams of specialists from the European Mobile Laboratory project for dangerous infectious diseases have been deployed in the region, providing diagnostic support, monitoring the situation and liaising with humanitarian partner organisations and local authorities.

The European Commission is also working closely with the EU Member States through the Health Security Committee (HSC) to share information about the latest developments and coordinate the collective European response. The HSC has also produced a travel advice leaflet, available in all EU languages.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) facilitates co-operation in disaster response, preparedness, and prevention among 31 European states (EU-28 plus the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland and Norway). The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the Emergency Response Coordination Centre. Operating 24/7, the ERCC monitors risks and emergencies around the world and serves as an information and coordination hub during emergencies. Through the EUCPM, the Commission also provides financial support to transport operations.

For more information:

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Factsheet on the EU response to the Ebola epidemic:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/thematic/wa_ebola_en.pdf

Factsheet on the Union Civil Protection Mechanism:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/thematic/civil_protection_en.pdf

The EU's response to the Ebola crisis (Speech by Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva at the European Parliament): http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-609_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e-mail


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