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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 8 September 2014

EU supports African Union mission to fight Ebola

The European Commission will provide €5 million to the newly established mission of the African Union (AU) "Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa" (ASEOWA) that will join the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the disease in the region.

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said "We welcome the AU’s new mission and will fully support its work. The EU stands side by side with our African partners - we all need to cooperate closely in fighting this deadly disease. Today’s funding is part of our contribution to a strong, coordinated international response."

Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "The crisis continues to deteriorate, with Ebola cases surging even in places where it was brought under control. We must join forces in the fight against this deadly epidemic. Europe's humanitarian assistance is reaching the affected areas as we speak. The needs, however, are constantly growing."

ASEOWA is planned to last six months, with headquarters in Liberia and a minimum of 100 staff. It will provide advice to the Ebola coordination structures in the affected countries and engage in joint operations with them. It will also provide medical support in their on-going responses to the Ebola outbreak and assist local authorities and the international community in consolidating the control over the virus' epidemic. It will also support the establishing of institutions and conducive conditions for the control and eradication of Ebola, as well as liaise with humanitarian actors and facilitate, where possible, humanitarian assistance to isolated and quarantined centres.

Today’s announcement was made in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) at an AU Partner Group's meeting on Ebola.

Background

€2 million of today's funding come from EU support for fighting Ebola that has been announced by Commissioner Piebalgs last Friday during his official visit to Benin (see IP/14/974); the remaining €3 million will be provided through the so-called African Union Support Programme, an existing EU funding mechanism that provides technical capacity to the AU.

The European Commission has been scaling up its response to the epidemic since March 2014 and has pledged in total some €147 million until now to help the countries affected by the Ebola virus (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria).

Humanitarian experts have been deployed in the region, monitoring the situation and liaising with partner organisations and local authorities.

Several European specialist teams of the European Mobile Laboratory project for dangerous infectious diseases have been dispatched to Guinea, Nigeria and Liberia, with mobile laboratories to support with viral haemorrhagic fever diagnostics, rapid analyses of samples and confirmation of cases.

The European Commission is also working closely with the EU Member States within the Health Security Committee to keep them informed about the latest developments and secure the synchronisation of measures. The Health Security Committee has produced a travel advice leaflet, available in all EU languages.

For more information

IP/14/974: EU announces €140m package in response to Ebola virus outbreak

MEMO/14/520: The EU's response to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa

Website of EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG:

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

Website of the European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/piebalgs/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

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

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Website of the European Commission Health and Consumer DG

http://ec.europa.eu/health/ebola

Contacts :

Alexandre Polack (+32 2 299 06 77)

Maria Sanchez Aponte (+32 2 298 10 35)

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 e­mail


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