A new $10 million commitment by the Federal Government to fight the growing Ebola crisis in West Africa, which has so far claimed more than 3,000 lives, has been welcomed by NGO and child rights organisation Plan International Australia.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has allocated $2.5 million through the Humanitarian Partnership Agreement to NGOs working to fight Ebola in the region. Of that $2.5m, Plan International Australia has received $650,000.
The deadly virus has so far killed 3,330 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Senegal and Nigeria. More than 7,000 cases have been reported in the biggest outbreak of the disease since it was discovered in 1976. The outbreak has shown little sign of abating.
Plan International has already been extremely active in the fight against Ebola since this latest outbreak began in March. The Federal Government’s funds will support the training of health workers, the distribution of hygiene kits, maintaining early warning systems, and raising awareness of the prevention of the spread of Ebola through training sessions, public information broadcasts and literature.
Plan will also provide support for the hundreds of children who have been orphaned by the outbreak. In Liberia alone, around 300 children have seen their parents or principal caregivers die from Ebola.
“We are witnessing an horrific and still growing crisis in West Africa, as the Ebola virus holds the region in its deadly grip,” says Plan International CEO Ian Wishart.
“The region has been appealing for the help and support of the rest of the world for months now, and it is very gratifying to see the Australian government making this important commitment to come to the aid of millions of people threatened by this deadly virus,” Wishart says.
Plan is also appealing to the Australian public to join the battle against Ebola, inviting donations that will support crucial work to stem the spread of the epidemic.
“Ebola is not just a West African crisis, it is a global crisis and we all need to do join the battle against this disease. We hope the public will join the government in helping us to support the people of West Africa,” Wishart says.
Australians wishing to help can give to Plan’s Ebola crisis appeal atplan.org.au
Relevant photos are available here: http://bit.ly/planebola. Please credit ‘Plan International Australia’.
Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world, founded 75 years ago, working in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas and supported by 21 donor countries. Plan is independent, with no religious or political affiliations.
Media contact: Adam Cathro, Plan International in Australia, Media Relations Manager, 0488 202 945