GUE/NGL
News

Resources, not military aid, needed to fight Ebola

“We don't know the exact number of Ebola victims but we do know that health systems in Western Africa are very weak and on the verge of collapse with just a handful of doctors for thousands of patients,” said Spanish MEP Lola Sánchez speaking in a debate on the EU response to the Ebola epidemic in the Parliament this afternoon.

 

With the EU cutting its aid budget since 2011, Sanchez called on the EU for justice for African countries, adding that the virus had to become a global threat before any action was taken.

 

She said: “These people still lack doctors, isolation units, hospital beds and basic medical equipment. They don't need military support”, explaining that Cuba had sent over 100 specialists while the US is intending to send 3 000 troops. “What they need are the resources to manage the situation, provide health assistance, not the militarisation of the region.”

 

Marina Albiol said: “The US, EU and the West in general have turned their backs on African countries for decades and it's only when this crisis became so acute and when we saw the risk of the virus entering our own borders that we began to take this outbreak seriously. And it is not out of altruism or a wish to save lives that we have taken action, it is to protect ourselves.”

 

She continued saying: “We are not giving the new medication to the poor and these economic forces are just as deadly and virulent as Ebola itself.”