On August 1, 2018, four cases of Ebola virus were confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC. Since then, health officials have reported well over 3,000 confirmed and 118 probable cases of Ebola in the country’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces.Two thirds of these infected individuals have died. This is the DRC’s worst recorded Ebola epidemic to-date, and the second largest recorded Ebola outbreak globally.
The United States is committed to stopping this Ebola outbreak, and is working closely with DRC officials and international partners to stop this disease from spreading. Due to the highly contagious nature of the disease, ongoing insecurity in the region, and the need for community buy-in, addressing the epidemic on both regional and community levels is key.
The United States is responding to the need for expanded efforts to address additional critical humanitarian needs in Ebola-affected communities, including supporting primary health-care facilities, rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure, providing good nutrition and protection services, and finding ways to help people get back on their feet financially, while simultaneously financing direct medical efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak.
The United States funds critical preparedness efforts in the neighboring countries of Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania, as well as at-risk areas in the DRC.
To help fund these efforts, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, recently provided nearly 56 million dollars in additional humanitarian assistance to the region, bringing the total USAID funding for the effort to respond to this Ebola outbreak to more than 266 million dollars.
Stopping the spread of Ebola requires a concerted, unified effort from the entire international community, in close partnership with the Government of the DRC and local communities. The United States strongly encourages other donors to provide funding and technical support to help end the outbreak, and calls on the governments of all countries that identify suspected cases of Ebola and other deadly infectious diseases to immediately report them to the World Health Organization, in accordance with the International Health Regulations.