BEIJING, China – he Government of the People’s Republic of China has contributed US$6 million to the United Nations World Food Program’s (WFP) emergency operation to assist 1 .3 million people impacted by the Ebola virus outbreak in the three most-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
This substantial and timely contribution will be divided equally between the three countries, enabling WFP to purchase vital food supplies – mainly rice, lentils or yellow peas, and blended fortified cereals – for emergency rations for more than 300,000 people for one month, as well as specialised nutrition products to help prevent malnutrition.
WFP and partners are supplying crucial food and nutrition assistance to the package of care given to people under medical quarantine, as well as to patients receiving treatment and their relatives and affected communities.
“WFP is very grateful for this contribution from the Government of China to help feed the families affected by the Ebola virus,” said Denise Brown, WFP Regional Director for West Africa. “As the number of cases are growing fast, WFP is scaling up its operation and one of the biggest challenges is to ensure that we have sufficient funds to help people.”
“We and the people of West Africa are especially thankful for this contribution from the People’s Republic of China at this very difficult time when we need to reverse Ebola’s advance,” she said.
In recent weeks, the food supply in affected countries has been threatened at many levels. Farmers are abandoning their crops and livestock as they seek areas they perceive as safer away from exposure to the virus. Travel restrictions and displacements have led to increased food prices in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and neighbouring countries.
Since April 2014, 9145 metric tons of WFP food have been provided to nearly 530,000 people directly affected by Ebola
In addition, WFP is assisting the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the entire humanitarian community, to ensure that aid workers and critical supplies reach affected areas through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services, which is managed by WFP.
WFP is also providing crucial logistics and infrastructure support for health partners In Liberia, at the request of the government and World Health Organization, WFP is doing groundwork for four Ebola Treatment Units in Monrovia with a total of 400 beds.
Since the Ebola outbreak was first identified in West Africa, there has been a surge in the number of cases and areas hit by the disease. According to WHO, 8,914 cases and 4,447, deaths have been reported by the Health Ministries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
With this contribution from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, WFP has now received one third of the US$179 million it needs for its regional emergency interventions against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak through February.