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UNICEF appeals for $200 million for Ebola response in West Africa

About 8.5 million children and youth live in areas affected by Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia

GENEVA/DAKAR/NEW YORK, 16 September 2014 – UNICEF said today it needs over $200 million to respond to the Ebola outbreak that has claimed over 2,400 lives and ravaged communities across West Africa. This is part of a broader, six-month appeal for $987.8 million that governments and humanitarian agencies require to fight the disease.

“Ebola is killing people and undermining futures,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Director of Emergency Programmes. “It is closing schools, destroying health systems and threatening the very fabric of communities. This is a crisis of enormous proportions.”  

Of the $200 million, nearly $65 million will go to UNICEF’s programmes in Liberia, around $61 million to Sierra Leone and more than $55 million to Guinea. An additional $10 million will help neighbouring countries be prepared for a potential spread of the disease within their borders. The remaining $9 million are required for regional coordination efforts.

UNICEF estimates that 8.5 million children and young people under the age of 20 live in areas affected by Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Of these, 2.5 million are under the age of five.

From working with communities to raise awareness of the disease and providing essential hygiene supplies since the first days of the outbreak, UNICEF has stepped up its response as Ebola continues its deadly spiral. The children’s agency, present in all affected countries, has been rushing in essential supplies and providing life-saving information in the heart of affected communities on how families can protect themselves.

Examples of such effort by UNICEF and its partners include:

  • With support from the World Bank, Japan and USAID, airlifting 544 metric tonnes of supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with almost 50 flights since early August. These supplies include protective equipment, hygiene items and essential medicines.
  • Supporting the Government of Sierra Leone in conducting a three-day public awareness campaign, 19-21 September, by helping train volunteers and providing accurate information on Ebola.
  • Installing water and sanitation facilities in Ebola treatment units in the three countries.
  • Training community health volunteers, teachers and others and help spread life-saving information on Ebola.
  • Working to avert non-Ebola disease outbreaks and provide basic services to women and children.
  • Providing psychosocial support to children affected by Ebola.

“We need to work with communities,” Khan said. “We can save lives now if every country, every agency that has the means to support, does so.”

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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For further information please contact:
Timothy LaRose, UNICEF Guinea, tlarose@unicef.org, +224 622 350 251
Sarah Crowe, currently with UNICEF Liberia, scrowe@unicef.org, +1646 209 1590
Issa Davies, UNICEF Sierra Leone, idavies@unicef.org, +232 76 601 310
Laurent Duvillier, UNICEF Regional Office in Dakar, lduvillier@unicef.org, +221 777 403 577
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, nmekki@unicef.org, +1917 209 1804

For additional  resources:

Photos and b-roll from Ebola-affected countries
UNICEF's work for children in Ebola-affected countries






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