Leaders of the world’s largest economies gathered here in Brisbane, Australia urged governments across the globe Saturday to contribute money and resources to combat the deadly Ebola outbreak in the West Africa.
“We invite those governments that have yet to do so to join in providing financial contributions, appropriately qualified and trained medical teams and personnel, medical and protective equipment, and medicines and treatments,” according to a statement released by Australia on behalf of the G-20 countries. “While commending ongoing work, we urge greater efforts by researchers, regulators and pharmaceutical companies to develop safe, effective and affordable diagnostic tools, vaccines and treatments. We call upon international and regional institutions, civil society and the private sector to work with governments to mitigate the impacts of the crisis and ensure the longer-term economic recovery.”
President Barack Obama has been pushing other nations to get involved for months, but health experts warn that the response remains dangerously inadequate to meet the needs on the ground.
The United States has committed hundreds of millions of dollars and an expected 3,000 military personnel. China and the United Kingdom also are contributing. But many others have not contributed.
The World Health Organization has received only a fraction of the billion-dollar international request it made for donations to fight Ebola. One international aid group, Oxfam, this week launched a name-and-shame campaign that calls out powerful nations that haven’t contributed to the efforts.
“G20 members are committed to do what is necessary to ensure the international effort can extinguish the outbreak and address its medium-term economic and humanitarian costs,” the statement says. “We will work through bilateral, regional and multilateral channels, and in partnership with non-governmental stakeholders. We will share our experiences of successfully fighting Ebola with our partners, including to promote safe conditions and training for health care and relief workers. We will work to expedite the effective and targeted disbursement of funds and other assistance, balancing between emergency and longer-term needs.”
The leaders urged the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund to explore “new, flexible mechanisms” to address the economic effects of future comparable crises.