Israel has made the world's largest per-capita contribution to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa, according to a statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in New York.
Part of Israel's $8.75 million pledge was earmarked for UNICEF, which is working to tackle the drivers of Ebola transmission and provide urgent services for children affected by the disease.
“We thank Israel for their generous contribution to help stop Ebola and for recognizing that children are especially vulnerable during emergencies,” said Caryl Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
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“Although progress has been made in controlling Ebola, much remains to be done to fully stamp out the disease and provide care to children whose lives have been upended by it,” said Stern.
In additional to the financial contribution, Israel has sent fully equipped medical clinics to West Africa, along with medical specialists to operate them and train local health workers.
“The donation from Israel could not have come at a more critical time, as global attention on the crisis is waning,” added Stern. “This is an investment not only in current efforts to combat the virus, but also in the long-term health and well-being of children and families across West Africa.”
Ebola has infected nearly 19,000 people and claimed over 6,900 lives across West Africa. As many as 10,000 children could be orphaned across the hardest-hit countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – due to the virus. Often, they are stigmatized or shunned by their communities. An estimated 5 million children also remain out of school as a result of the emergency.