UN appeals for more help to Support Sierra Leone’s Ebola response

Press Release
Freetown, 18 August 2014: The United Nations in Sierra Leone has said today that an additional $18.13 million is needed to bolster the Government of Sierra Leone’s efforts in halting the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). The disease has now spread to 12 of 13 districts in the country with a cumulative total of more than 800 EVD cases and 350 deaths.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, David McLachlan-Karr said at a press conference in Freetown that this appeal is needed to enhance four main interventions: clinical management through the World Health Organization; social mobilization and awareness raising through UNICEF; surveillance and contact tracing of persons who may have come into contact with Ebola (UNFPA); and providing logistical support through the World Food Programme (WFP).
“This appeal is to fill some gaps in the initial national response appeal of $ 26 million that was launched by the Sierra Leone Government in July,” the UN Chief in Sierra Leone said.
Mr. McLachlan-Karr added that another appeal from the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is in the pipeline for more than $60 million to assist the government with emergency feeding and logistics especially in EVD-affected areas.
“There is urgent need for food in areas that have been quarantined for the Ebola containment process where food production has been interrupted.” said the WFP Representative Mr. Gon Myers
The World Health Organization Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr. Jacob Mufunda said the UN is responding to the maximum of its current capacity, but more resources are required to strengthen the implementation. The UN is striving to ensure that a coordinated containment programme for Ebola is in place to avoid overlaps in funding requests and duplication of effort.
The outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone is very serious and containment of the disease is not yet under control. The contagion has continued to spread from its original epicentre on the Guinea-Liberia border districts of Kailahun and then Kenema to ten other districts of Sierra Leone’s 13 districts, leaving only Kionadugu untouched. From being the last of the Mano River Union countries to be affected, Sierra Leone now has the most cases (probably under-reported) and with no sign of a slow down. The Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) however, (45%), which is still significantly lower than up to 90% reported in other previous outbreaks of this deadly disease, pointing to the need for early detection and treatment.
For further questions and clarification, please contact: Tikue Girmay, UN Communications Specialist. Email: tikuegirmay@one.un.org and Cell. +23278359629