The United Nations is mobilising to fight the Ebola virus epidemic by creating an international coalition. A recent unanimously approved Security Council resolution identified the Ebola epidemic as a “threat to international peace and security”. A meeting is now to be held at head of state and government level of the countries affected and major donors, Italy among then, and the directors of the UN agencies most closely involved in fighting the virus – the WHO, the principal NGOs and regional organisations.
The objective is the coordinated intervention by the entire international community and the UN system to rapidly reach concrete results. The newly establishment United Nations Operations Crisis Centre, directed by deputy coordinator for the Ebola emergency Anthony Banbury, will be tasked with identifying operational solutions for confronting the crisis and coordinating UN and international community efforts. UN S-G Ban Ki-moon has proposed setting up a health mission, for the first time in the organisation’s history: the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
Italian Cooperation intervention plan
The Italian Cooperation is supplementing a 200,000-euro contribution to the WHO in April for setting up activities in Guinea Conakry with a new programme valued at 1.5 million euro. The programme includes a multilateral contribution to WHO of 240,000 euro and a 1.2 million euro bilateral emergency initiative. The latter will finance, among other things, the treatment, prevention and training carried out by Italian NGOs in the region, and the sending of specialised Italian medical staff from Rome’s Spallanzani hospital, a world-renowned centre for the treatment of infectious diseases that has already set up a mobile laboratory in Guinea Conakry and is about to open another in Liberia.
Initiative by the Italian Presidency of the EU Council
As duty president of the Council of the European Union Italy will promote discussion on responses to the Ebola emergency within the framework of COHAFA (the EU humanitarian aid work group), raising awareness among member states of the need for rapid intervention and encouraging the coordination of activities, as well as the mobilisation of additional resources.