UN Ebola appeal gets just 38% of cash needed

17th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

The UN's aid division on Friday warned that it has received only 38 percent of the almost one billion dollars it has appealed for to fight the Ebola epidemic.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has mustered just $377 million of the $988 million asked for in a joint appeal made by its aid agencies.

"We are tracking humanitarian pledges and contributions, not development aid," said OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke.

He told reporters that with $217 million in pledges in the pipeline, the coffers would eventually be 60 percent full.

"But that's not money in the bank. It's pledges towards our requirements," he said.

The top donations so far are the $105 million given by the World Bank, followed by the United States' payout of $90 million and $45 million from the African Development Bank.

Private donors, including individuals, have come up with $34 million, while the European Commission has paid in $10.5 million.

Within the OCHA appeal, UN aid agencies have set out their specific requirements.

World Food Programme spokesman Elisabeth Byrs said her agency had received 53 percent of the $180 million it had asked for.

It is heavily involved in logistics for the overall aid operations in Ebola-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as handing out food. Food aid is regarded as a crucial lifeline as Ebola strikes down breadwinners.

The restrictions on movement it causes has also caused chaos in the farm sector.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, has mustered 48 percent of the $260 million it needs to fight the raging epidemic.

© 2014 AFP

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