World Must 'Step Up' Anti-Ebola Effort

Posted by John Kerry
October 8, 2014
Secretary Kerry Comments on the Ebola Response During Press Availability With UK Foreign Secretary Hammond
President Obama has made it crystal clear that Ebola is an urgent global crisis that demands an urgent global response. The United States has intensified every aspect of our engagement, and that includes providing Ebola treatment units, recruiting first responders, and supplying a critical set of medical equipment. The administration is working as a team to make sure that we bring all our resources to this effort; for my part, I am working extremely closely with Rajiv Shah, the USAID director, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom and our Ebola Coordinator Ambassador Nancy Powell.
But I want to expand that effort with an urgent plea to countries around the world to step up even further. While we are making progress, we are not where we need to be. There are additional needs that have to be met in order for the global community to respond effectively to this challenge -- and to make sure that we protect people in all of our countries.
Those needs are described in these slides. They show the very real need for more countries to move resources of specific kinds. It is not just a question of sending people, though it is vital to send people. But we need Ebola treatment units. We need health-care workers. We need medevac capacity. We need mobile laboratories and staff.
We also need nonmedical support: telecommunications, generators, incinerators, public communications capacity, training, construction. There is a desperate requirement for major assistance to strengthen health systems of stricken countries, for cash to support them in this critical time and for transportation to get equipment to the right people and places.
All of these things are frankly urgent if we are going to move quickly to contain the spread of Ebola. We need airlines to continue to operate in West Africa and we need borders to remain open. We need other African countries with the capacity to send responders to join the effort. And we need to make sure that the brave health-care workers who go are properly trained, properly equipped  and supported to prevent additional infections.
Many countries are already contributing, but the scale of needs is dramatic. The United States has contributed $113 million to the United Nations response. Smaller countries have stepped up to the plate -- some quite remarkably. Some smaller countries are contributing way above their per capita population.
But the fact is more countries can and must step up to make their contributions felt, and the charts tell the story. There are not enough countries to make the difference to be able to deal with this crisis. We need more nations – every nation has an ability to do something on this challenge.
As the charts show, we already have a shortfall still of some $300 million. The United Nations has identified $1 billion in urgent needs, reflected in the pie chart. The World Bank has put in 22 percent. The United States has put in 11 percent. Private sector, 10 percent. More is needed -- you can see the tally.
Providing this money is a critical component of our ability to be able to meet this challenge, and we need people to step up now. Now is the time for action, not words. And frankly, there is not a moment to waste in this effort.
About the Author: John Kerry serves as U.S. Secretary of State. For more from the Secretary of State, follow @JohnKerry on Twitter and go to
Editor's Note: This entry originally appeared on the Washington Post's PostEverything site.
For more information:
  • Visit to learn how you can help those affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.


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Jane B.
California, USA
October 10, 2014
There is something you can do right now to halt the spread of Ebola to the U.S. And it won't cost a cent. Just stop issuing visas for travel to the US at the embassies in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Take a bold stance or do it on the down low, but just do it. Think of how many lives you could save. People infected with perhaps the deadliest disease in human history are coming into this country and we're greeting them with a smile and a questionnaire, armed with only a thermometer gun. The President and the CDC keep telling us there won't be an epidemic here, but the health care system here has proven it isn't ready for ONE patient dropping in at the ER. What would happen if overnight that turned into 100? Or 1000? Where would we even put them? Are there even enough isolation facilities in the whole country? Commentator after commentator says close the border, but no one in Washington or Atlanta seems to get the message. Are they all just stupid or are they so preoccupied with ISIS that they can't see the true threat is Ebola? It feels like we're living in a David Lynch movie! Be the voice of reason. DO MORE! CLOSE THE DOOR!
Adam A.
October 10, 2014
I'm suffering from my country state
Berrhonda p.
Arkansas, USA
October 10, 2014

Thank you for taking time in your day to speak with me & my mother about speaker of the house, etc.........

Terry M.
Virginia, USA
October 14, 2014
I am wondering how well Italy is preparing for an possible outbreak of ebola possibly imported through the many immigrants coming from Africa by sea. Is it safe to travel to Italy?
Francis H.
Tennessee, USA
October 14, 2014
Ebola is as contagious as hepatitis, so despite what fear-mongering talk show host you've been listening to, there is no risk of an apocalypse any time soon. On the other hand, thousands of people in Africa who lack basic health services are dying and all you can do is complain about how our president isn't trying hard enough to keep his own country safe. How about donating to a medical NGO treating Ebola patients instead?


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