The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated $2 million to support critical Ebola preparedness activities to protect an estimated 440,000 people in high-risk areas of South Sudan as the EVD outbreak continues in bordering Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The funds will help with time-critical actions to strengthen surveillance, build case management capabilities, enhance laboratory services and increase infection prevention and control. CERF funds will also ensure adequate logistics support.
“Through the generous support of CERF’s donors, we have the funds to push ahead with preparedness activities for Ebola", said today Alain Noudéhou, Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan. "Rigorous prioritisation has taken place to ensure the best use of these resources. Activities are targeted in the high-risk areas, including borders and points of entry with the DRC.”
The money has gone to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). “With this increased funding, we continue to be able to train more local frontline workers with the knowledge to identify suspected Ebola cases and report them,” said Mr. Noudéhou. “Clean water and sanitation are also a priority – setting up handwashing stations at schools and public places and hygiene promotion is essential to increase infection prevention and control.”
Although there have been no cases confirmed in South Sudan, WHO has declared the country is at ‘very high-risk’ due to its proximity to DRC. As of 29 January 2019, there have been 752 EVD reported cases in the DRC, including 465 deaths. Last month, CERF has made a US$10 million regional contribution towards mitigating the possible impact of the current Ebola outbreak should it spread to neighbouring countries. “The response agencies, led by WHO, are doing a remarkable job in containing the Ebola outbreak in eastern DRC", said UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock, "but it is important to support neighbouring countries too."