(New York, 09 August 2019) United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock today announced a US$10 million contribution from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide life-saving assistance to people affected by Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The Ebola outbreak in DRC has continued in eastern Ituri and North Kivu provinces for more than a year and is now the second worst outbreak in history. The 2,787 recorded cases have resulted in 1,868 deaths as of 7 August. “Despite the scale-up of the Government-led response and the heroic efforts of frontline health workers, community members and other partners, the disease is not under control. The risk of further spread – including to neighboring countries – is very high,” said Lowcock.
The CERF funds will be used to strengthen early detection of the disease, reinforce prevention and infection control measures, provide psychosocial and nutritional support to affected people, and bolster engagement with communities, which helps ensure they are receptive to the life-saving response. “The CERF funds will help us to detect more new cases faster, reduce the risk of further spread, and support people who have lost loved ones,” said Lowcock. “But we urgently need donors to provide sustained funding for the response at this critical juncture.” The public health tools to respond to Ebola virus disease are better than ever before, including effective vaccinations. But insecurity, community mistrust, and political instability have constrained their effectiveness in this 10th outbreak in the DRC. The United Nations and partners continue to work with the Government to ensure an enabling environment for the public health response, including appropriate security, logistics, political and community engagement, and action to address the concerns of affected communities.
The $10 million allocation is in addition to $4.8 million allocated by CERF to UN agencies to respond to the outbreaks in Equateur and North Kivu provinces last year and a separate $10 million contribution for Ebola response readiness in Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.
CERF pools contributions from donors around the world into a single fund allowing humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises hit. On average, more than half of CERF-funded humanitarian action addresses the needs of women and girls.