EU talks over 1bn euro Ebola fund

Published: Monday 20th October 2014 by The News Editor

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European Union nations are working to reach one billion euro (£791 million) in aid by the end of the week to fight Ebola in West Africa and are seeking a common approach to the crisis.

EU foreign ministers began a week of talks so their 28 leaders can agree by Friday on better measures to fight Ebola, anything from financial aid to common repatriation procedures, more Ebola treatment facilities and better training for health workers.

“We’ve got a very short window to get on top of it and prevent the uncontrollable spread of the disease,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said. “We do need this billion-euro fund.”

So far, the overall anti-Ebola total for the EU, including EU national contributions, stands now at nearly 500 million euro (£395 million), with Britain contributing 160 million euro (£126 million) and Germany some 100 million euro (£79 million).

The Netherlands also promised to send a frigate to West Africa to help, matching a similar contribution from Britain.

“Money is very important, equipment is very important, staff is very important,” said EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The World Health Organisation’s representative to the EU, Roberto Bertollini, was relieved to hear EU promises of action.

“It’s time to act now … if we want to limit the amount of cases to an amount that is controllable,” he said.

In Spain, officials said nursing assistant Teresa Romero now appears to have beaten Ebola but she will not be considered virus-free until she is tested on Tuesday for a second time. She was among those treating a Spanish missionary who died of Ebola on September 25.

“The first good news is that the evolution of Teresa Romero is positive,” said Spanish foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo. “The second is that the 15 others (linked to her) did not present any symptoms.”

Published: Monday 20th October 2014 by The News Editor

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