NEW YORK, November 22 (Sputnik) – The United Nations still needs about $600 million to fund its efforts aimed at ending the Ebola virus epidemic, David Nabarro, Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease has said.
"We estimate that the UN system will need about $1.5 billion through to March 2015 to play its part in ending the [Ebola] outbreak. Much has been committed, but there's still a shortfall of around $600 million," Nabarro told members of the UN Security Council Friday.
According to Nabarro, Ebola is slowly being brought under control but still presents a grave threat across West Africa.
"Where the response strategy is implemented fully, transmission is decreasing. And so, while the total number of cases continues to rise, the overall rate of increase really has begun to slow – and this is a good sign," Nabarro said.
The current Ebola epidemic started at the end of 2013 in southern Guinea and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Since then, Senegal and Nigeria have been declared free of the virus by the World Health Organization (WHO).
According to the latest WHO data, Ebola has killed a total of 5,420 people, with the number of confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola cases standing at 15,145.
The virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. There is no officially approved medication for Ebola, but several countries, including Russia, are developing trial vaccines.