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Ebola virus: Italy’s contribution to fighting the epidemic

Italy’s total contribution to the fight against the Ebola epidemic amounts, to date, to 7.6 million euro. The total can be broken down into support for the United Nations agencies and the International Red Cross and for projects implemented by Italian non-governmental organisations (NGOs), mainly in Sierra Leone.

Emergency contributions and initiatives

Right after the epidemic broke out, Italian Development Cooperation arranged funding of 200,000 euro for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its work in Guinea Conakry. As the crisis worsened, a second package of interventions was approved, amounting to nearly 1.5 million euro. This sum was divided into a further emergency contribution of 240,000 euro for the WHO and a bilateral initiative amounting to 1.2 million to finance treatment, prevention and training activities carried out by Italian NGOs in the region. Through a public tender, our Embassy in Abidjan – which covers Sierra Leone – selected 4 NGOs (AVSI, CUAMM, Dokita and ENGIM) to implement health and nutrition projects.

Support for NGOs and their work

Italian Development Cooperation has also supported the work of two NGOs (Emergency and Engim) by taking on the transport costs involved in sending medicines and “consumable” health supplies to Sierra Leone. To do so, it has been using the United Nations Humanitarian Depots. Further operations are planned for the future.

New initiatives amounting to 6 million euro by the end of 2014

New initiatives amounting to 6 million euro will be put in place by the end of 2014. Half of this money will be used to support the United Nations and International Red Cross response system. The other 3 million euro will be used to fund NGO initiatives through a refinancing of the fund set up at our Embassy in Abidjan.

Italian Development Cooperation’s efforts to combat the epidemic will be further intensified in the course of 2015, thanks to the extraordinary allocation of 50 million dollars recently announced by the Prime Minister.