Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Spread of Ebola

Global Health Council Statement Supporting Ebola Emergency Appropriations Request

The best way to prevent Ebola from spreading is to stop it at the source of the current outbreak. That means investments must continue to be focused on a robust response to the epidemic in the three countries most affected. The international response, while slow to begin with, has begun to see some results, with reported number of cases slowing down, but this does not mean the fight is over. The response must continue until there are zero cases. In addition, measures to mitigate the risks in the U.S. have been effective and should continue to be supported.

Any slow down or interruption to getting the resources, supplies, and response personnel into the affected region, as well as contributing to preparedness elsewhere in the region, only allows the epidemic to grow and become harder to contain. Such a response should not mean sacrificing vital U.S. contributions to humanitarian needs in other crises – families in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic all remain in desperate need of assistance. The U.S. has been at the forefront of responding to these needs, leveraging contributions from other donor countries, civil society, and the private sector.

In early November, the Obama administration submitted to Congress an Ebola Emergency Appropriations Request that will do all of these things: support Ebola-affected countries, arrest the spread of the disease, and advance preparedness efforts, all without drastically diminishing humanitarian assistance to other crises. Global Health Council urges Congress to act speedily to ensure full funding of the international emergency response to Ebola.