EU member states to coordinate evacuation of aid workers from West Africa

European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Director-General Claus Sørensen, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola David Nabarro, and Assistant Director-General for Polio and Emergencies Bruce Aylward at the high-level EU coordination meeting on Ebola on Sept. 15 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by: European Union

A new joint system to coordinate the evacuation of aid workers affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is currently being finalized by the European Union and could be rolled out “in a matter of weeks,” Devex has learned.

The initiative follows a French proposal supported by the European Commission and ministers from among the 28 EU member states at a high-level meeting in Brussels Sept. 15 attended by Commission officials, EU ministers and representatives from United Nations agencies, Médecins Sans Frontières and other international nongovernmental organizations involved in the response to the epidemic.

According to French Health Minister Marisol Touraine, the proposal’s twin goals are to reassure organizations and their staff, and ensure the continuity of aid on the ground.

“If we want humanitarian workers to work in Africa, they must be certain that they can return home if they become ill,” she said during the meeting. “That’s why I have called for the coordination of the evacuation of health professionals who are afflicted. We need to put into place air capacity to bring Ebola victims to our hospitals.”

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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.