Ebola Containment Efforts in DRC Threatened by Conflict and Lack of Funds

The latest Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo could potentially spread to urban areas and across international borders, according to the the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Insecurity in the region and significant funding shortages are to blame. Currently, the DRC Ministry of Health reports 1,739 Ebola cases including 1,147 deaths.  The epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, areas of conflict, started 40 weeks ago on August 1. The latest report is alarming because 20 percent of overall cases happened in the last three weeks.

The IFRC is alamed by the recent sharp increase in cases and is encouraging the international community to redouble its efforts to contain Ebola.

Emanuele Capobiano, IFRC’s Director of Health and Care, says the complex situation will require a number of responses, but that the funding situation could be fixed now.

“At the moment, the financial situation for many of the humanitarian organizations is quite dire,” he said. “There is a real need to step up the response. Otherwise, activities will have to be scaled down and the impact on the future of the epidemic will be extremely serious.”

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