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UN ‘lacks resources’ to fight deadly Ebola

Monrovia (BBC):The head of the UN mission charged with fighting Ebola in West Africa has told the BBC he does not yet have the resources necessary to defeat it.
Tony Banbury said more help was urgently needed, despite significant contributions from the UK, China, Cuba and the US.
But he was hopeful of achieving the target of 70% bed space for new cases and 70% safe burials by December.
The confirmed death toll is now 4,818, says the World Health Organization.
All but 27 of the deaths have been in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – the three nations worst affected by the outbreak.
‘Mixed picture’ :Mr Banbury was speaking at the UN headquarters for Ebola response in Ghana, which has not been affected by the epidemic, at the end of a regional tour
He said told the BBC it was difficult to say if spread of the disease is slowing as it was a “very mixed picture”.
In Liberia’s capital, Monrovia, there was a decline but there was “significant acceleration” elsewhere.
Bed space was still a huge issue , Mr Banbury said, but he hoped that by reducing the numbers of people becoming infected the UN would eventually be able to reach its targets.
But he said his organisation did not yet have the capacity to defeat the disease.
“It’s not here yet. There are still people, villages, towns [and] areas that not getting any type of help right now and we definitely don’t have the response capability on the ground now from the international community,” he said.
At the same time he mentioned contributions from the UK, which opened a new Ebola centre in Sierra Leone on Wednesday.
Mr Banbury said the US, China and Cuba which had all sent significant numbers o Earlier, US officials said President Barack Obama would ask Congress for $6.2bn (£3.9bn) to fight Ebola in West Africa and to avoid it spreading in the US.
They said he was requesting $4.5bn in immediate response funds and more than $1.5bn for a contingency fund.
The request comes as the WHO released its latest report, putting the number of cases at 13,042 and the deaths at 4,818.

Published Date: Thursday, November 6th, 2014 | 10:05 PM

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