As the international Ebola recovery pledging conference begins in New York today, the governments of the three affected countries – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea – will set out their $ 7.2 billion plans of how to become Ebola free and rebuild their countries over the next two years.
This week’s conference is an opportunity for the international community to deliver on its promises to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Meeting funding needs is critical, but the responsibility does not end there. Donors must deliver full, timely funding to support the recovery of Ebola-hit countries. The money is vital to help affected nations build themselves well-resourced health facilities, improved water and sanitation, and train more community health workers. At the heart of getting to zero Ebola cases and beyond are communities themselves – it is vital that local people play a key part in healthcare plans and decisions moving forward.
The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have the leading responsibility to spend donations wisely so that the money delivers real results where help is most needed. In support, donors need to be generous with their funding, deliver the money quickly and publish information on their aid to ensure they hold themselves and the governments to account.
Gregory Adams, Oxfam America’s Director of Aid Effectiveness said, “Donors and the governments of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia must reaffirm their commitment to getting to zero cases of Ebola. Pledging generously is key, but carrying out responses that are transparent, effective and listen to local voices is the only way to end Ebola and protect these affected countries from future public health crises. Donors need to publish information on their aid, consult with communities and governments, and ensure that the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have the leading role in their own recovery.”
“With cases remaining steady in Guinea and Sierra Leone and a recent resurgence of cases in Liberia, it is clear just how fragile this recovery is. There is still a long road ahead, and donors and the affected governments must renew their commitment to work with communities to end Ebola now and plan for future emergencies.”
Oxfam has so far reached over 1.3 million people across West Africa through our preventative health work. We are working alongside communities to spread prevention messages, providing emergency water and sanitation to people in quarantined homes, schools and clinics, and boosting people’s dwindling incomes of those whose livelihoods were destroyed by Ebola through cash support.