Cameron Urges EU States to Pledge Billion Euros for EbolaThomas Penny
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron urged his fellow European Union leaders to increase aid to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak to help stop the disease spreading.
Saying that the EU and its member states need to act fast, Cameron called for agreement at next week’s summit in Brussels to boost assistance to affected states to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) and to send more than 2,000 workers, including 1,000 clinical staff, to the region by mid-November.
“If we do not significantly step up our collective response now, the loss of life and damage to the political, economic and social fabric of the region will be substantial and the threat posed to our citizens will also grow,” Cameron said in a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. “The European Council next week provides us with the opportunity to commit to an ambitious package of support.”
There should be co-ordination of screening at European airports and ports, and European states need to share information on how best to stop the spread of the disease into and through the continent, Cameron said in his letter. Britain started screening passengers at London’s Heathrow Airport on Oct. 14 and is extending the program to other ports of entry.
“By co-ordinating our approach, I believe the EU and its member states can maximize the effectiveness of our response,” Cameron said. “The rapid spread of the disease and recent cases outside the West African region demonstrate the magnitude of the task at hand.”
About 4,500 people have died of Ebola, mostly in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, since December.