G20 nations need to step up Ebola fight
BRISBANE - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the Ebola crisis at the G20 on Saturday, saying that the international response to the deadly virus needed to be boosted.
The UN chief said as Ebola rates are declining in one area of western Africa, they are increasing in other areas to the concern of health authorities.
"Transmission seems to outpace the response from the international community. I urge the leaders of G20 countries to step up," he said at a press conference in Brisbane.
"We have to address the secondary impact health care, education, and soaring food prices caused by the disruption of farming. It is causing a major crisis affecting 1 million people across the region."
Ban said the UN had a five-step attack to stop the outbreak, treat affected persons, provide essential services, preserve stability and prevent further outbreaks.
He said Ebola started as a health issue and that is why the international community might be a little bit slow in tackling this Ebola issue.
"But now the Ebola issue has developed into security, not only health, but economic and security issues," he said.
"So it is now impacting the whole spectrum of our life and that is why the United Nations has taken an emergency response, and for the first time in the history of the United Nations, the UN has established a special mission to respond to Ebola.
"Now we need to mobilize massive resources in terms of financial, logistics and treatment. We need to provide all political support to them," Ban said.
The World Health Organization said on Friday that 5,177 people had so far died of Ebola across eight countries, out of a total 14, 413 cases of infection, since late December 2013.