UN: Bil­lion Dol­lar Ebola Fund has $100,000 in Bank

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Ban Ki­moon said Thurs­day that a trust fund he launched to raise $1 bil­lion to pro­vide fast and flex­i­ble fund­ing for the fight against Ebola has only $100,000 in the bank.

Ban ap­pealed ur­gently to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to pro­vide the money which he said will en­able the United Na­tions “to get ahead of the curve and meet our tar­get of re­duc­ing the rate of trans­mis­sion by Dec. 1.”

The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral said the U.N. fund has re­ceived about $20 mil­lion, but almost all of it has al­ready been spent.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion said Thurs­day that the Ebola death toll will reach more than 4,500 this week, from among 9,000 peo­ple in­fected by the deadly dis­ease mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. It has pro­jected that there could be be­tween 5,000 and 10,000 new cases a week in early De­cem­ber with­out ur­gent ac­tion.

“Ebola is a huge and ur­gent global prob­lem that de­mands a huge and ur­gent global re­sponse,” Ban said. He said dozens of coun­tries “are show­ing their sol­i­dar­ity,” sin­gling out the U.S., Bri­tain, France, Canada, Ger­many, Poland, Ja­pan, South Korea, Cuba and China. But he said it’s time that coun­tries that have “the ca­pac­ity” — which he didn’t iden­tify — pro­vide support.

The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral said he liked the idea of greater pub­lic support for the fight against Ebola, in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of a fundrais­ing con­cert pro­moted by some­one like U2 singer Bono.

“I would wel­come any ini­tia­tive taken by Mr. Bono or some other lead­ers around the world to join this cam­paign to mo­bi­lize funds and mo­bi­lize aware­ness to take ur­gent ac­tion all to­gether and to show sol­i­dar­ity,” Ban said. There is a sep­a­rate $1 bil­lion U.N. ap­peal for the hu­man­i­tar­ian needs in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The U.N. said as of Wed­nes­day it has re­ceived $365 mil­lion in pledges, about 37 per­cent of the amount sought.

In this photo taken Thurs­day, Oct. 9, 2014, Liberi­ans stage a protest out­side the Na­tional Assem­bly against the gov­ern­ment not do­ing enough to fight Ebola Virus

in Mon­rovia, Liberia.

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