EU leaders seek more Ebola funding at summit
BRUSSELS (AP) — Britain pledged an additional 100 million euro ($126 million) to fight Ebola and Prime Minister David Cameron called on the other European Union leaders at a summit to step up their efforts to contain the deadly virus too.
Cameron had set an EU target of 1 billion euros ($1.26 billion) last week and prior to Thursday’s start of a two-day EU leaders’ summit, the bloc’s total anti-Ebola commitments were over halfway to that goal.
Britain said its total contribution now stood at 256 million euros ($324 million) toward fighting Ebola, more than any other EU nation.
“We need other European countries to do more,” said Cameron, exerting diplomatic pressure as he entered EU headquarters.
At the summit, the EU’s executive Commission also pledged another 24.4 million euros in research to on an Ebola vaccine.
“We are in a race against time on Ebola,” Barroso said. “We must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a sustained medium and long-term response.”
To coordinate all the efforts of the 28 EU nations, the EU leaders appointed the incoming EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides as its Ebola czar.
An international consortium led by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, meanwhile, announced it would study whether treating Ebola patients with antibodies from the blood of survivors could help. Researchers got 2.9 million euros ($3.7 million) to test the safety and effectiveness of treating patients with blood and plasma from people who have recovered from Ebola.
In Geneva, the World Health Organization said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed more than 4,800 people, remains an international health emergency.
WHO experts said international travelers from the three hardest-hit nations — Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia — should still be screened for possible Ebola symptoms to prevent the disease from spreading further. But the experts said there should be no general ban on travel and trade with those countries.
In Spain, five of the 15 people who came into contact with a nursing assistant who survived Ebola were released from the hospital Thursday after spending 21 days under observation and showing no signs of the disease.
The nursing assistant, 44-year-old Teresa Romero, was cleared of the virus on Tuesday.
In Germany, military volunteers climbed into medical protective suits and got sprayed with bleach for a mission to support efforts to fight Ebola by the German Red Cross in Liberia.
Medical writer Maria Cheng in London and Al Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this story.