The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Secretary of State for International Development, supported by the DFID Country Offices in Liberia and Sierra Leone has approved support for the Ebola Response plan valued at 8.3 Million United States Dollars (US$8.3M). This brings the UK total financial commitment in both countries to nearly US$10 million.
A Foreign Ministry release says the UK support is in response to the Regional Plan for Ebola Response for West Africa, including the Government of Liberia’s Ebola Action Plan; the Accelerated Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan issued by the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Ebola Outbreak Immediate Response in West Africa.
The release indicated that following discussions with ministries and partners in both counties, the funds will be used to strengthen government coordination capacity in Liberia and Sierra Leone, and provide support to United Nations Agencies in their coordination and response to the crisis as well as increase the case management capacity in response to the growing caseload of infected patients.
According to the release, the support will help expand the coverage of community sensitization programmes, promote infection control measures, respond to water and sanitation needs, support surveillance and contact tracing and safe burial.
The Ministry disclosed that the support will provide public health experts and support core and emergency funds which shall be allocated as follows:
The amount of US$830,000 will be allotted to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is providing the medical treatment or support in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, while US$415,000 will be used to boost MSF’s efforts to take over two health centers in Liberia previously run by Samaritans Purse.
Both the Liberian and Sierra Leonean Red Cross Societies will receive US$380,000 to assist the organizations provide communications and social mobilization, surveillance and contact tracing, and safe burial of victims of Ebola which is critical to further spread of the disease.
The amount of US$830,000 will also be used to surge urgently-needed personnel into UN operations in affected countries to ensure quality coordination and information management.
The release said the amount of US$1.5 million will go towards the reallocation of funding for existing health and water and sanitation projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as central contributions to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (ECHO); while US$2 million goes to the WHO for targeted support to the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone for coordination and logistics and strengthening response systems.
The total of US$1.7 million will be spent on a consortium of non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to provide communication sensitization surveillance, contacts tracing and monitoring while US$830,000 shall be spent by UNICEF for social mobilization, communication and protection.
Also, $830,000 will be given to the International Federation of the Red Cross to deploy a 20-person clinical team plus logistics staff and equipment to take over clinical care of Ebola patients at Kenema Hospital in the affected area in Sierra Leone.
The British Government says it will shortly commence programming discussions with implementing partners and assures the Governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone of its support and solidarity at this critical time.
In another development, the Government of Japan on Friday, August 15, 2014, extended an emergency grant aid of US$1.5M through WHO, UNICEF and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) to support the Ebola outbreak response in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone respectively.
By: Horatio Bobby Willie – Assistant Foreign Minister/Public Affairs