United Nations set up Accra base to co-ordinate Ebola fight
The newly-established United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has opened a new headquarters in Accra.
The team is tasked with providing a "rapid, effective and coherent" response to tackling the Ebola virus, which is linked to over 2,800 deaths in the west Africa region, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). UNMEER will use its Accra base to coordinate international aid in combating the crisis across west Africa, through regional offices in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries which have been hit hardest.
Senegal and Nigeria have been affected by the epidemic but seem to have contained the virus which began in Guinea in December 2013. The UNMEER head, American Anthony Banbury, says the mission has two million sets of personal protective gear, 470 trucks, up to 18 helicopters and other aircraft.
Banbury has extensive experience managing humanitarian relief and development operations for the UN – mainly in Asia – and was also an integral part of the UN response to the 2004 tsunami and the 2008 Nargis cyclone in Myamar. The UN says the fund will seek donations from member states, regional legislative bodies, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations, businesses and individuals.
A separate Ebola outbreak recently killed 41 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo but no new cases have been reported since mid-September.