Wed Feb 4, 2015 1:32PM
A report says despite allocation in international pledges of at least USD 2.89 billion (EUR 2.52 billion) to efforts aimed at curbing the deadly Ebola virus, only about one-third of the sum has been paid out.
The British Medical Journal published the report on Tuesday, blaming delays in requests for funding and translating of pledges into paid contributions.
“Like the international response, contributions to fight the epidemic were slow to take off,” said the report by Karen Grepin, assistant professor of global health policy at New York University.
It added that the World Bank had pledged USD 230 million, but paid out only USD 117 million.
“We need a mechanism to enable more rapid disbursement of funds to fight public health threats such as Ebola,” the report said, adding that “existing contracting mechanisms are too slow.”
Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever, whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces, or sweat. It can be also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.
According to the World Health Organization, the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in the three hardest-hit West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia has risen to nearly 9,000.
David Nabarro, the senior UN coordinator for Ebola, told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on January 29 that “the epidemic is not contained yet” across the three nations.