UAE gives Dh18.3 million to fight Ebola
ABU DHABI // The UAE on Thursday donated Dh18.3 million to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa.
The grant was ordered by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for the affected states of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to further fight the disease and prevent its spread.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, announced the grant following an appeal by the United Nations to combat Ebola.
She said the UAE was looking to contribute to a world free from diseases through cooperation and partnership with international organisations.
Sheikha Lubna also said that such assistance reflected the UAE’s commitment to strengthening global efforts and providing channels of support and relief as well as health care and vaccination campaigns for affected countries. She warned that the spread of Ebola was a threat to human beings around the world.
The UAE’s response to the UN’s call sets out to achieve five major goals: halting the spread of the disease; treating patients; providing basic services; maintaining stability; and encouraging prevention in countries that have not yet been affected.
The UN says the outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most complex since the virus was first discovered in 1976.
“There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined,” according to the organisation. “It has also spread between countries, starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air to Nigeria and by land to Senegal.”
This week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that more than 3,300 people had died from the disease.
George Itty, chief executive of Nahtam, an Abu Dhabi-based social responsibility organisation, said the UAE’s contribution was commendable.
“Other GCC countries should follow the UAE’s example and contribute to eradicating this infectious disease,” he said. “This disease comes from Africa, a place where there is no money, countries are very poor and so contamination chances are very high.”
“The UAE is doing great work in this field,” Mr Itty said.
Updated: October 2, 2014 04:00 AM