Ebola conference: From emergency to recovery

Unrecognisable in their protective clothing, staff in Ebola treatment units have their name written on their forehead. Guinea, 2014. Photo credit: Sylvain Cherkaoui/Cosmos pour Alima
While international efforts to fight Ebola have recently reduced the number of infections, action is still needed to avert a new possible increase in cases. Today, the European Union is hosting a high-level conference “Ebola: From emergency to recovery” to continue mobilise international support and plan the next steps against the epidemic.
Today’s conference aims to review progress in the international response and outline concrete steps to ensure that funds already pledged are made available, and that international support continues until there are no more cases of Ebola.
The goal is to define actions which will bring the number of Ebola infections down to zero, and prepare measures which can help affected countries recover from the severe blows. At the conference, the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are presenting their assessments and plans for national recovery.
Another objective of the event is to find ways to make the response more mobile and flexible. Crucial in this respect is fostering regional cooperation and assisting West African countries in prevention, containment and preparedness – to help secure that no other epidemic will have such devastating impact in future.
The priority areas for recovery include resuming and improving basic services (health, education, water, sanitation) and the need to return to sustainable economic development.
The event brings together representatives from all institutions, international and non-governmental organisations, private sector and the scientific community who have been closely involved in reacting to the epidemic.
The conference is co-chaired by the European Union, the Presidents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the United Nations, the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The EU is represented by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and EU Commissioners Christos Stylianides, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Neven Mimica and Carlos Moedas. Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium is opening the conference.
The number of suspected, probable and confirmed cases in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is now over 23 000 and the number of deaths over 9 200.
The European Union, together with its Member States, has made available more than €1.2 billion in financial aid to help contain the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa. The epidemic has taken a heavy toll on life. Despite the decline in case incidence in most of the region, there is no room for complacency. Continued response efforts are necessary to retain momentum and get to zero Ebola cases.
Read more on EU’s work on Ebola.