OTTAWA, Sept. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Humanitarian Coalition launches a national joint appeal to raise funds for public health and disease prevention efforts in West Africa.
This latest outbreak of the Ebola virus has so far infected more than five thousand people, with confirmed cases resulting in more than 2,500 deaths. Centred in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the outbreak is rapidly spreading and threatens to infect thousands more.
The countries affected by Ebola are some of the poorest in the world, with fragile public health systems that are ill equipped to handle the magnitude of the outbreak. While front-line medical services and interventions must be funded to treat those who have contracted the disease and to quarantine people who exhibit symptoms, there is also an urgent need to scale up public health interventions in affected areas and beyond.
The member agencies of the Humanitarian Coalition are on the ground right now and their dedicated staff are busy helping families and communities adopt practices that will help prevent the further spread of the disease, and supporting those who have been impacted by the crisis. With basic measures such as the sharing of accurate information, the training of community health workers, and the distribution of hygiene kits and clean water, the number of new cases can be reduced. As in all emergencies, women and children are the most vulnerable. That is why our agencies have put in place particular programs to protect and support them throughout this crisis.
Liberia and Sierra Leone have both declared a state of national emergency. The Humanitarian Coalition urges all governments and health authorities to contribute in the fight against Ebola. Inaction is not an option as the number of cases continues to rise. This Ebola outbreak calls for a concerted, global response. The Humanitarian Coalition is proud to play a role in this effort.
Canadians who want to learn more about the current Ebola outbreak and our member agencies' response can go to www.together.ca
About the Humanitarian Coalition
The Humanitarian Coalition is Canada's only joint appeal mechanism. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs.
SOURCE: Humanitarian Coalition
For further information: Humanitarian Coalition: MJ Proulx, 613-799-7562, firstname.lastname@example.org; CARE Canada, Darcy Knoll, 613-790-2135, email@example.com; Oxfam Canada, Melanie Gallant, 613-240-3047 firstname.lastname@example.org; Oxfam-Québec, Justine Lesage, 514-513-0013, email@example.com; Plan Canada, Dena Allen, 416-723-6340, firstname.lastname@example.org; Save the Children, Kirsten Walkom, 647-631-3862, email@example.com