EU doubles down on Ebola fund

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with outgoing European Council President Herman Van Rompuy during the European Council meeting on Oct. 24, 2014. Cameron announced that his coalition government would top up its contribution of 125 million pounds to the Ebola response. Photo by: European Union / CC BY-NC-ND

European Union leaders agreed Friday to raise the bloc’s financial support to halt the spread of Ebola in West Africa to 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion).

At a European Council summit in Brussels on Oct. 24, EU heads of government responded to an appeal by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had called on them to double the funding.

“There is a massive crisis in West Africa, and we should feel a moral obligation to do something about it,” Cameron said at the summit. During a working dinner with fellow EU leaders, he announced that he would top up the U.K.'s contribution of 125 million pounds ($201.45 million) with an extra 80 million pounds.

Cameron sought to shame EU leaders into action, arguing that the United Kingdom’s pledge up to that point was more than the combined funding provided by 19 of the bloc's 28 member states. He even pointed to the fact that Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA, with its 3.9 million-pound support for French medical group Médecins Sans Frontières, had done more to fight Ebola than countries like Austria, Luxembourg, Poland and Hungary.

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About the author

  • Diederik kramers

    Diederik Kramers

    Diederik Kramers is a freelance correspondent in Brussels covering EU and NATO affairs. A former spokesperson and communications officer for UNICEF and UNHCR, he previously worked as foreign desk and Eastern Europe editor for the Dutch press agency ANP and as editor-in-chief of the Dutch quarterly Ukraine Magazine.