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Red Cross urges quicker response on Ebola

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Red Cross urges quicker response on Ebola

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The EU has pledged more than 1 billion euros in funding to fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

But NGOs say funds need to be disbursed far quicker.

Alasan Senghore, Africa director of the International Committee for the Red Cross, said: “The European Union pledge is quite good but the speed at which we move should be faster that what it is today. We need to intensify our work in terms of sensitizing people, making people understand that there should be behavioural change in terms of burial practices and so on, until we get rid of Ebola.”

The corpses of Ebola victims are highly contagious; the mishandling of the burial of a religious leader is believed to be the source of a new outbreak in Mali.

And then there’s the economic impact from the disease.

“In some countries in West Africa there is a likelihood of food shortage. People were not able to go to their farms to do cultivation and all kinds of things. So, which means, that there is already an impact on the economic livelihoods of people,” said the ICRC’s Senghore.

The World Health Organisation says nearly 5,000 people have died from the disease in the three worst.hit countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.