Swiss step up aid to fight Ebola as death toll grows

WHO director general Margaret Chan speaking during a news conference in Geneva about the support to Ebola affected countries Keystone

The Swiss foreign ministry has pledged additional aid to fight the Ebola epidemic in western Africa. The Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO) has renewed a call for health workers from around the world to go to the region to help. and agencies

The extra CHF2 million ($2.1 million) in funds will be used to support the World Food Programme (WPF) and the Swiss chapter of Médécins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The latest contribution brings to CHF3.7 million the total amount of Swiss financial support since the first incidence of the disease were reported in March.

Earlier this month the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit sent medical supplies at the request of the Liberian authorities.

WHO: emergency 

Meanwhile, the WHO has warned that the number of new Ebola cases in western Africa is growing faster than authorities can manage them.

WHO director-general Margaret Chan urged the international community to send health workers during a televised conference from Geneva on Friday.

She said the vast nature of the Ebola outbreak required a massive emergency response.

The death toll from the Ebola virus infection has risen to more than 2,400 out of 4,784 reported cases, according to latest figures.

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