Norway is doubling its support for the fight against Ebola, and will be contacting the UN, the UK Government and other relevant actors to offer personnel and equipment for their operations. A new contribution of NOK 89 million brings Norway’s total funding for the fight against Ebola to just over NOK 184 million.
‘The situation is critical in the West African countries that are affected by the disease. The outbreak is spreading faster than the response. Efforts need to be significantly and rapidly stepped up in order to stop the outbreak,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
‘The health sector has both personnel and equipment that can be made available. We will determine, in consultation with the UN and other involved actors, how we can make the most useful contribution,’ said Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie.
‘Preparations are underway to provide air transport for personnel and equipment if needed. We have entered into an agreement on the use of civilian air ambulance capacity from the US and other countries for evacuating Norwegian citizens in the event of suspected or confirmed Ebola infection. We are also seeking to make a C-130 Hercules aircraft available as a back-up solution,’ said Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The new allocation represents a doubling of Norway’s support for the efforts to fight Ebola. Norway’s contribution now totals NOK 184.2 million, including the NOK 15 million allocated to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
In recent weeks, the Ministry of Health and Care Services, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, has drawn up measures to address the Ebola outbreak, including preparedness for evacuation of infected persons and assistance to the affected countries in West Africa.
The allocation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will make it possible to provide personnel and equipment for the efforts in West Africa. Some of the allocation will also be given in the form of funding to the UN, the Red Cross and other NGOs.
Furthermore, isolation facilities at Oslo University Hospital will be available for treating international health workers, if the need arises.