13 June 2019
Ebola outbreak in DR Congo: €3.5 million in EU support for neighbouring countries
Since the 2018 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the EU has been providing funding towards the international effort to contain the disease in the country. At the same time, the EU is also helping countries bordering Ebola-affected regions to bolster their prevention and preparedness measures against a spillover of the outbreak. To this effect, the EU is allocating a total of €3.5 million in assistance to Uganda (€2.5 million) and South Sudan (€1 million) to increase their capacity for rapid detection and reaction to Ebola cases and prevent the spread of the epidemic. This amount comes on top of the €17 million that the EU has contributed so far to the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the EU support given in 2018 to Ebola prevention and preparedness actions in Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.
“Today, our main task is not only to help DR Congo in its fight against this deadly disease, but also to assist neighbouring countries. Here, our funding is helping with surveillance, work with local communities, and the stepping up of local capacities for these countries to be in a better position to take timely and effective action. We are committed to help in bringing this outbreak to an end,” said Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management and EU Ebola coordinator.
In co-ordination with other international donors and in line with the World Health Organisation’s Regional Strategic Ebola Preparedness Plan, EU funding is contributing towards measures that include:
With this funding, since 2018, the European Union has supported the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the preparedness measures in the region with more than €20 million.
In addition to its contribution on various fronts to the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the European Union is helping in the reinforcement of preparedness and prevention measures in neighbouring countries.
Given the high population mobility in the region between Ebola-affected areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighbouring countries, the threat of a cross-border transmission of the Ebola virus has always been evaluated by the World Health Organisation as very high.
On 11 June 2019, the Minister of Health of Uganda confirmed that a first patient had tested positive to Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Kasese district, in the south-west of the country. Uganda has to date three confirmed cases of Ebola.
A joint EU-UK humanitarian field mission is currently underway in south-west Uganda, with the participation of a regional health expert from the European Commission who has experience in working in Ebola outbreaks.
EU humanitarian health experts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the region are in daily contact with health authorities, the World Health Organisation and operational partners. Furthermore, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is closely following the development of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
The EU has also financially supported Ebola vaccine development and research on Ebola treatments and diagnostic tests.
For more information:
Fact Sheet – EU response to the Ebola epidemic