N$11 Million Donation Each to Gaza and Ebola Hit Countries

The Namibian Cabinet has just approved a donation of US$ 1 million to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, as well as another US$ 1 million humanitarian contribution to the people of Palestine in the Gaza Strip. The donation and humanitarian contribution, which amounts to N$11 million each at current exchange rates, were announced late yesterday afternoon, in a statement from the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology’s Permanent Secretary, Mbeuta Ua-Ndjarakana.

Namibia’s announcement of the contribution was followed by the US president Barack Obama’s announcement of “ramping up” of medical assistance to the west African countries, with deployment of 3 000 military personnel to supply health care kits, erect emergency facilities, and train health care workers. Further, yesterday the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos said the UN needs nearly US$1 billion (N$11 billion) to fight the Ebola outbreak.

As of yesterday [16 September] the five countries hit by Ebola, – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal – had 4 985 confirmed cases of Ebola with 2 461 confirmed deaths.

“Namibia is contributing an amount of US$1 million as a solidarity support to the west African countries that are affected by the Ebola virus outbreak,” the statement said.

“Furthermore, Cabinet has approved an amount of US$1 million humanitarian solidarity contribution to the people of Palestine in the Gaza strip who were displaced and rendered homeless under Israeli bombardments.

The bombing killed scores of people with many others injured, maimed and left destitute,” Ua-Ndjarakana said in the statement.

The N$11 million contribution to fight Ebola outbreak would be availed through the World Health Organisation (WHO) to the African Public Health Emergency Fund “for containment of the outbreak in the African Union countries.”

Namibia’s contribution is a heed to the call from the African Union (AU) to member states and international community for contribution in cash or kind to assist its fight against the Ebola outbreak in some western African countries.

WHO has estimated that about N$6.6 billion is needed to bring the epidemic under control, while the AU is also sending health workers and other specialists to west Africa under its operation of AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in west Africa (ASEOWA).

WHO yesterday said the number of cases and the numbers of deaths in the current Ebola outbreak already exceed the totals for all previous outbreaks combined.

“This health crisis we’re facing is unparalleled in modern times. We don’t know where the numbers are going on this,” Bruce Aylward told a news conference in Geneva.

The UN too is concerned with UN envoy, Dr David Nabarro quoted as saying: “We’re going to have to do something quite exceptional, and we will.”

Source : New Era