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(Bloomberg) -- The United Nations needs to raise a further $1 billion for the fight against West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, after raising that amount last year, according to the UN’s special envoy for the deadly virus.
Most of the money is needed for the World Health Organization, Unicef and the World Food Programme, David Nabarro said at a briefing today at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The UN said in September it needed $1 billion and later boosted its estimate to $1.5 billion.
The outbreak, which has struck more than 21,000 people and killed about 8,400, has started to “turn” as efforts to identify cases and make burials safer bear fruit, Nabarro said. “We have a very attractive and promising situation that leads us to believe that we’re beginning to see the end of the outbreak,” he said.
Even so, the epidemic can be reignited by any individual case, requiring the UN and partners to deploy hundreds of disease detectives to track down people who are infected.
Those workers will need “to go to every single nook and cranny and find people who’ve got Ebola or are suspected of having it, and bring them into treatment quickly,” Nabarro said. The additional funding is necessary to cover a geographic region “that is bigger than the British Isles and only slightly smaller than France.”
To contact the reporters on this story: Simeon Bennett in Geneva at firstname.lastname@example.org; Makiko Kitamura in London at email@example.com To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at firstname.lastname@example.org David Risser