September 25, 2014 – New York, NY – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced additional humanitarian assistance to help meet the immediate needs of the people affected by the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and neighbouring countries in West Africa. The assistance is in response to recent appeals issued by the United Nations and non-governmental organizations.
“Canada is deeply concerned with the unprecedented rate at which the Ebola virus is spreading and the dire effect that this outbreak is having on the people of West Africa,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada is providing additional support to combat this terrible disease and address the urgent humanitarian needs of those affected.”
The support is being provided to experienced humanitarian partners within the United Nations system, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement—including the Canadian Red Cross Society—as well as other Canadian and international non-governmental organizations on the ground.
Canada’s assistance to these partners will support three main areas:
- treatment of those affected by Ebola, including in community care locations for those without access to treatment;
- prevention efforts, including social mobilization and health education to prevent further spread of the disease; and
- support for the broader humanitarian implications of the crisis, including food and nutrition assistance and non-Ebola-related health services.
“Preventing further transmission of the Ebola virus is essential to controlling the current outbreak,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health. “We continue to explore ways for Canada to make meaningful contributions to the global response, and work with the international community to contain and combat this outbreak.”
Canada is deeply concerned by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa, which risks undermining the foundations for economic prosperity, security and social stability in the region. The Government of Canada has therefore taken a number of actions to date to help bring the outbreak under control. These include financial contributions in support of humanitarian assistance by international and Canadian organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; financial contributions to the WHO to help address associated threats to health and security; the deployment of a mobile laboratory and a rotating team of Canadian scientists to Sierra Leone; the donation of hundreds of doses of the experimental vaccine VSV-EBOV to the WHO; and the issuing of travel advisories for Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
“Canada welcomes international efforts to strengthen the coordination of response efforts, including through the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response,” said Minister Paradis. “However, we remain concerned that coordination efforts are not yet adequate and need to be urgently strengthened to deal with the magnitude and complexity of the crisis.”
- This EVD outbreak is the largest in history, eclipsing all other Ebola outbreaks combined since 1976, when the virus was discovered. It is also the first time that Ebola has become widely transmitted in urban areas.
- On September 16, 2014, the United Nations and the WHO released an appeal, which estimates that nearly US$1 billion in global resources will be required over the next six months for the health response to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability, and prevent outbreaks in countries currently unaffected.
- The humanitarian situation in affected countries continues to deteriorate. The United Nations estimates that more than 22 million people, of whom 2.5 million are children under the age of five, are living in areas where active EVD transmission has been reported, with more than 4 million people living in areas where 20 or more fatalities have been reported.
- According to the WHO as of September 24, 2014, more than 6,200 cases and 2,900 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
- As of September 24, 2014, 373 health care workers have been infected by Ebola, and 208 of them have died as a result of the disease.
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_DEV
Like us on Facebook: Canada is Dedicated to International Development – DFATD