UK-based charity organization Oxfam has said that international donors have failed to redeem their pledges in terms of aid to West African countries to the tune of $1.9 billion to help fight the outbreak and spread of Ebola.
Recall that the Ebola virus that broke out in West Africa in 2014 killed more than 11,000 people, which led several local and international donors to pledge support towards vaccines and treatment for the disease. This has raised more concern in several quarters especially with the recent outbreak of the Zika virus, which is threatening Latin America and other regions.
The charity group said that the remaining $3.9 billion pledge has been difficult to track because of “scant information” and a lack of transparency, reports the New York Times.
“We’re finding it hard to understand which donors have given what money, to whom and for what purpose,” said Aboubacry Tall, Oxfam’s regional director for West Africa.
Oxfam called on international donors, and the government of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to provide detailed information on how aid is being provided. Recall that the three countries most affected by the 2014 Ebola outbreak were Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Originating in Guinea more than two years ago, the Ebola outbreak left some 23,000 children without at least one of their parents or caregivers, while some 17,000 survivors are trying to resume their lives despite battling mysterious, lingering side effects.
More than $5 billion was pledged at the time by international donors as part of a special International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York last July. At least $1.9 billion of that “still has not been allocated to a specific country in a pledge statement let alone through more firm commitments to specific recovery programs.”
The world feels that the World Health Organization is not doing enough to fight outbreak of diseases in the world; especially when you consider the number of people that the Ebola virus decimated in 2014. An Associated Press investigation found the World Health Organization delayed declaring an international emergency for reasons that bothered on economic and political.
Various emails, documents and interviews obtained by the AP show the World Health Organization and other responders failed to organize a strong response. None of the senior leaders involved in directing the Ebola response has been disciplined or fired, per the New York Times.
The disease, which has not been completely wiped out, still poses a big threat to the region (West Africa) and the entire world at large. As a matter of fact, a day (January 14) after the World Health Organization declared an end to the virus transmission throughout West Africa, officials in Sierra Leone reported a new fatality and a second person has since been tested positive.
The World Health Organization had anticipated there would still be flare-ups before Ebola was truly over. However, the charity group said the slow response to recent flare-ups in Liberia and Sierra Leone show that they are not able to deal effectively with new cases.