With the Ebola crisis continuing in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and amid global calls for a “reset” on the international response, top officials will gather in Geneva on Monday for a high-level meeting organized jointly by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
The meeting will be chaired by WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus and UNOCHA chief Mark Lowcock, with Congolese health minister Dr. Oly Ilunga attending. Other participants include recently appointed Ebola response coordinator David Gressly; representatives from World Bank and UNICEF; the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and people working in DR Congo, where the number of cases is closing in on 2,500 and the death toll was at 1,655 on Friday.
“It is important to organize this meeting and it is good to listen to local actors, especially the Congolese authorities,” said Fadela Chaib of WHO. “This is the time to work again, to galvanize once again all the efforts of the international community to overcome this Ebola outbreak in the DRC.”
The high-level meeting is an opportunity to discuss the response and not planned as a fundraiser, but it comes under mounting pressure to declare the Ebola outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Also attending the meeting is British international development secretary Rory Stewart who – among others – has warned the response is inadequate and a more aggressive approach is needed.
The meeting will be livestreamed at this link.
Image: WHO file