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Germany pledges €85 million for Ebola fight

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Germany pledges €85 million for Ebola fight
Liberian nurses in Monrovia prepare to carry the body of an Ebola victim. Photo: DPA/EPA/AHMED JALLANZO
08:41 CEST+02:00
Germany pledged on Thursday a further €85 million to fight the Ebola epidemic, on top of aid already promised.

It brings the amount pledged by Germany to battle the highly-infectious disease to €102 million.

Of the €85 million, €50 million would come from the development budget and €35 million from the foreign office, the government announced.

"What we do now to help in West Africa is, in the best sense of the word, emergency aid for the people there, but is is also the most effective protection for the people of Europe,“ health minister Hermann Gröhe said ahead of an Ebola summit of European ministers in Brussels.

The cash will be used for programmes in West Africa which is the epicentre of the outbreak.

Germany has already sent two transport planes to West Africa to help with the logistics of containing the outbreak and is supporting the construction of field hospitals.  

Around 5,000 Bundeswehr soldiers have also volunteered for the Ebola Task Force to West Africa after an appeal by defence minister Ursula von der Leyen.

'Most serious'

On Wednesday, European leaders agreed the Ebola epidemic was "the most serious international public health emergency in recent years."

A 75-minute video conference call between British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and US President Barack Obama focused on cooperation to fight the outbreak, a spokesman for Cameron said.

"Leaders agreed that this was the most serious international public health emergency in recent years and that the international community needed to do much more and faster to halt the rise of the disease in the region," the prime minister's office said in a statement.
   
"Each leader set out what they are doing to help the countries affected and then discussions focused on how to improve coordination of the international effort."
   
Cameron proposed that plans to tackle the disease could be decided at a Friday summit in Milan between European and Asian leaders and a European Council meeting next week.
   
The call comes after reports that a second healthcare worker in Texas in the United States tested positive for Ebola after caring for a Liberian patient who died of the virus in Dallas.
   
The United Nations also warned Ebola was outpacing efforts to combat the disease and said the world should dramatically expand the fight against the tropical fever, which has killed nearly 4,500 people this year, mainly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
   
Cameron said that he would welcome any other countries who wanted to contribute to British efforts to fight the disease in Sierra Leone, and would discuss cooperation with Italy.
   
The discussion identified priorities of improving coordination of international efforts, increasing spending and trained personnel working the region affected, and evacuation procedures for workers infected with the disease.
 
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