The “Ebola: from emergency to recovery” conference is taking place in Brussels today under the organisation and patronage of the European Union. While international efforts have reduced the number of Ebola infections in recent months, it is critical to maintain the momentum to prevent a sharp increase in new cases. The conference today aims to sustain the international mobilisation and to plan the next steps in the fight both against the current outbreak and the Ebola virus in general.
The Ebola conference is co-chaired by the European Union, the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It brings together all key international players to prepare the actions needed now to bring the number of Ebola infections down to zero – and the measures to help the affected countries recover from the severe blows that the epidemic has dealt their people and economies.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said: "To end Ebola and ensure sustainable development in the affected region is the best way to honour the memory of the victims. I would also like to pay tribute to all those who have been involved in the outbreak response with expertise, dedication and courage. Together with our Member States, we have mobilised more than €1.2 billion for the fight against this disease. And we will continue to help until we win the battle against Ebola”.
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini added: ”Ebola is a challenge that we must continue to tackle collectively, quickly and for the long term, also to help make sure that no other epidemic will have such a devastating impact in the future. Today is the time to do so: we have the opportunity and the responsibility to be effective in our development aid, to promote good governance and invigorate regional cooperation. With its political, diplomatic, humanitarian and financial tools, the EU is part of the solution and a partner”.
Today’s conference will review progress and outline concrete steps to:
- Ensure funds already pledged are made available and maintain international support (medical teams, laboratories, epidemiologists, research efforts and other resources) until there are no more cases of Ebola
- Make the response more mobile and flexible
- Promote regional cooperation
- Assist countries in West Africa work on prevention, containment and preparedness – to help secure that no other epidemic will have such devastating impact in future
- Build resilient health systems in the affected countries with enhanced infection control and capacities to adhere to International Health Regulations
- Improve governance and accountability in the affected countries
Priority areas for recovery include resuming and improving basic services (health, education, water, sanitation) and the need to return to sustainable economic development. At the conference today, the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are presenting their assessments and plans for national recovery.
The high level conference “Ebola: from emergency to recovery” gathers EU Member States, the countries affected by Ebola and those contributing to the fight against the disease, international and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the scientific community. The EU is represented by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioners Christos Stylianides, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Neven Mimica and Carlos Moedas. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium will be opening the conference.
In the margins of the event, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica will present a new EU mobile laboratory: a large truck lab which is set to be transported to West Africa where it will be used for the training of local specialists on diagnosis of highly dangerous pathogens.
The European Union has mobilised substantial political, financial and scientific resources to help the affected people and to contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat the Ebola virus. The EU's total financial contribution to fight the epidemic is over €1.2billion. This includes funding from Member States and the European Commission.
The Commission has provided over €414 million to fight the disease, covering emergency measures, urgent Ebola research, as well as longer-term support. The recent announcement of the first results ever to show that a treatment (favipiravir) might be effective against early Ebola disease is a result of this financial support.
For more information
The EU’s contribution to the fight against Ebola:
The EU’s support for sustainable development in the Ebola-affected countries:
EU contribution to urgent Ebola research:
DG Health and Food Safety – latest developments: