UN Ebola fund aimed at reaching $1bn to fight deadly virus has received just $100,000 so far

Trust fund was set up by UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to tackle Ebola outbreak

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The Independent Online

Ban Ki-Moon has issued an urgent appeal for more funding to tackle the Ebola crisis after revealing a trust fund set up to raise $1 billion has received just $100,000 (£62,000) so far.

The UN Chief said some countries who were able to provide financial support to the UN Ebola response have failed to do so, while other donors were already overstretched.

It is time for countries who “really have the capacity” to provide financial and other logistical support, Mr Ban told a conference.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on 16 September that $988 million (£615 million) is needed to tackle the deadly virus over the next six months.

Since then $365 million (£227 million) has been committed to stop Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, which have been hit hardest by the epidemic.

Nearly all that money was donated directly to UN agencies and non-profits working in West Africa.

Meanwhile, just $100,000 was paid by Colombia into the trust fund set up by Mr Ban, according to UN records.

Mr Ban’s criticism of the international response to the outbreak comes after the World Health Organisation projected the pace of infections accelerating in West Africa to as many as 10,000 new cases per week.

Anthony Banbury, a UN official co-ordinating the response to the crisis, also urged the world to step up its reaction, warning earlier this week: "Ebola got a head start on us, is far ahead of us, is running faster than us and is winning the race."

Dr David Nabarro, who is heading the UN response to the Ebola crisis, said the trust fund was intended to offer flexibility in responding to a crisis “which every day brings new challenges”.

“It allows the areas of greatest need to be identified and funds to be directed accordingly,” he said.

Nearly 4,500 people have died from the worst Ebola outbreak on record, according to figures from the World Health Organisation, with confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola reported in seven countries, including the United States.