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Press Releases, 8/13/2014 | Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Finland to provide humanitarian assistance for fight against Ebola epidemic

Press release 174/2014
13 August 2014

By decision of Minister for International Development Pekka Haavisto, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will provide EUR 280,000 of funding for the work against Ebola performed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, submitted through the Finnish Red Cross, and EUR 500,000 for corresponding efforts of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO has declared the Ebola epidemic a global health emergency. More than 1,700 cases of Ebola have been reported to the WHO with almost one thousand deaths. “The situation is alarming as the number of cases keeps growing. If the epidemic in West Africa cannot be suppressed, the consequences will be catastrophic,” says Minister Haavisto.

As the Ebola epidemic continues, the local health care systems are unable to respond to the situation. The affected regions suffer from lack of nursing staff. At the request of the WHO and the local ministry of health, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is, for the first time, in the process of establishing a clinic in Kenema, Sierra Leone, focusing solely on treating Ebola patients. Médecins Sans Frontières and the WHO will provide technical support. The Finnish Red Cross will contribute to the mission by deploying professional delegates.

At the moment, EUR 6.5 of the total WHO emergency appeal of EUR 33.4 has been covered. The WHO aims to stop the outbreak and prevent the spread of the disease to neighbouring countries.

Finn Church Aid will also retarget some of the funds granted to it by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for work in Liberia to fight against Ebola. 

The aid will be paid from Finland’s appropriations for humanitarian assistance, included in development co-operation funding.

Additional information: Kaisa Heikkilä, Deputy Head of Unit for Humanitarian Assistance, tel. +358 40 352 0739

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Updated 8/13/2014

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