BRUSSELS, October 20 (RIA Novosti) – The EU member states have already allocated 500 million euros ($638 million) to combat the Ebola virus outbreak, Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said Monday.
“Today the discussions will begin with thinking about what more we can do to tackle this incredibly complex issue of Ebola. Already EU member states have contributed half billion euros in support trying to protect people,” Ashton said prior to the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg.
The EU top diplomat added that she invited Tonio Borg, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, to join the Ebola discussion.
The current Ebola outbreak is a serious and significant problem which should not be underestimated, Ashton stressed.
“It’s not a problem that would stay in one part of the globe, it has a potential to travel everywhere so we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to help to sort it out at source, if you like, and also to deal with it in terms of our own national security,” the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs concluded.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 4,500 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak, with over 9,000 cases confirmed.
There is currently no officially approved medication for the disease, but several countries are now working on developing a drug to halt the virus spreading further. Earlier this month, the Russian Health Minister confirmed that Russia is now ready to test its Ebola vaccine on primates and may soon start clinical trials.