The international effort to contain the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has encountered another obstacle: it is running out of money.
A recent report by the World Health Organization claimed that nearly $100 million is needed to end the spread of the deadly disease in Central Africa, which has already claimed more than 11,000 lives. However, only $44 million — not even half of the funding they requested — has been received.
The agency added that if it fails to get further funding, it might have to scale back or even cease operations in DRC.
WHO Struggles To Contain Ebola Outbreak
DRC is currently experiencing the second largest Ebola outbreak in history. Since August 2018, the East African country has seen more than 2,000 confirmed cases of the disease. In June, the neighboring country of Uganda reported its first cases after a 5-year-old boy and a 50-year-old woman died from the hemorrhagic fever after crossing the border.
Political Cooperation, Funding Needed To Stop Spread Of Ebola
To stop the outbreak, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is appealing for bipartisan political cooperation and further funding from member states.
"Bipartisan political leadership in DRC is the only way that communities will eventually understand the threat of Ebola and take ownership in ending the outbreak," he said in a statement. "Meanwhile, other countries have a global responsibility to support the dedicated health responders — from DRC, from across Africa and across the world — who are bravely working to save lives."
Ghebreyesus recently arrived from a visit to DRC where he met with Prime Minister Sylvester Ilunga Ilunkamba, opposition leaders, religious leaders, non-government organizations, and others to talk about how they could help end the outbreak.
He also visited Uganda where the first case of Ebola outside of DRC was reported earlier this month. So far, no new case of Ebola has been reported in Uganda, which, Ghebreyesus noted, is proof that the measures being adopted to control the spread of the deadly disease works.
"After seeing the rapid response in Uganda, I can only urge the international community to continue to support the preparedness activities ongoing there and in neighbouring countries," he added.