Sweden adds 100 million kronor to Ebola fight

AFP/The Local
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Sweden adds 100 million kronor to Ebola fight
Villagers in Sierra Leone dealing with the Ebola outbreak. Photo: Michael Duff

Sweden's new coalition government has announced it will increase the amount of money it is spending on the Ebola crisis.


It has revealed it will invest an additional 100 million kronor ($13.89 million), taking its overall spending to around 240 million kronor.
Part of the money will be used to help Swedish hospitals send more medical volunteers to affected countries in west Africa, while maintaining services in Sweden.
The move follows criticism in recent weeks that Sweden wasn't doing as much to tackle the crisis as its European neighbours.
Sweden is now set to become the fifth largest donor in the world.
"It's a serious situation. We must do more, it's very urgent," said the Social Democrat public health minister, Gabriel Wikström, at a press conference on Thursday.
He added that there had been a "very positive response" from county councils to facilitate the means for Swedish staff to take time off, praising the Swedish men and women prepared to travel to Africa for their "heroic" efforts.
Green Party MEP Isabella Lövin with Public Health Minister Gabriel Wikström. Photo: TT
Volunteers are likely to help with a range of tasks, from manning medical centres to assisting with administration and the provision of water and effective sanitation in areas that are experiencing Ebola outbreaks.
The World Health Organization is encouraging the development of small treatment centres, in collaboration with local people, to avoid family members contracting the virus by caring for family members in their homes.
Sweden does not presently plan to set up its own medical facility, but to help with existing projects.


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