UN body seeks $8M for Ebola response plan in Guinea

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Thursday launched an appeal to raise $8 million for efforts to stop the resurgence of the Ebola virus in Guinea.

The funds will be used to support essential outbreak preparedness and response activities, as well as critical coordination efforts at the national and prefectural levels and key border crossings, the UN body said in a statement.

“We have witnessed the devastation that delayed action on public health emergencies can do to a community and societies at large,” Maximilian Diaz, head of IOM Guinea.

“We must stand by the people of Guinea, and we must act fast.”

Authorities in the West African country declared an Ebola outbreak in Gouecke, an area in the southeastern N’Zerekore region, on Feb. 14, the first since the 2014-2016 crisis that claimed over 11,300 of lives in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.

As of March 1, four probable and 13 confirmed cases have been identified, eight of whom have died, according to the IOM.

In early February, authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) also announced the reappearance of the Ebola virus more than two months after the end of the last outbreak.

“In recent years, IOM has implemented Ebola-related interventions across a dozen countries – including Burundi, the DRC, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda – to mitigate in-country and cross-border infection,” read the statement.

The health ministers of Guinea and neighboring countries on Wednesday agreed to put up a unified fight to combat the latest Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Africa office said.

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