Ebola crisis

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT
Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak.

New pledges of financial aid to a UN Ebola fund have reached $118 million with Britain and Sweden offering sizeable contributions after UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleaded for more money.

Britain pledged $32 million and Sweden $15 million to the fund set up by Ban to fight the Ebola outbreak, that has now killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa, UN officials said Friday.

A $1-billion-dollar appeal for financing by UN agencies has raised $491 million, nearly half the amount needed to fight the world's worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

The United Nations is leading the international response to the Ebola crisis and has set a target of ensuring at least 70 percent of infected people are getting treatment by December 1st.

Ban last week caused a stir when he complained of having only $100,000 in cash on hand for the fund and urged nations to dig deep in their pockets.

Since then Australia deposited $8.7 million and more countries have committed funds including Venezuela ($5 million), Canada ($3.6 million) and New Zealand ($1.2 million).

China has offered $6 million, Finland $9.1 million, Germany $6.3 million and Denmark $5 million to the trust fund that gives the UN quick access to financing to fight the epidemic.

UN officials say they are hoping to have $100 million in funding secured by the end of the month through formally signed agreements with donors.

So far it has signed commitments for funding totalling $18.7 million, although the pledges stand at $118 million.

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