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PRESS RELEASE: China triples aid to West Africa in global fight against Ebola

Brussels, 3 November 2014 – China has tripled its aid to Ebola-stricken Western African countries in a bid to tackle the most severe public health crisis to the international community in modern history.

The fourthbatch of emergency assistance since April brings China’s total contribution to RMB 750 million (EUR 98 million), making it the second biggest donor country to date. The new pledge by China reflected the increase in intensity of the diseaseand China’s commitment to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the African people and the international community in times of crisis.

The latest round of aid will add another 500 medical staff and public health experts to the 200 Chinese nationals already dispatched to the region to treat patients and train local doctors and nurses. Within days of its announcement, construction already started on a 100-bed treatment centre in Liberia, where the epidemic is at its worst. The centre, expected to be operational within 30 days, will be run by an elitehumanitarian-aid squad of the People’s Liberation Army who have already seen action in the 2003 fight against SARS. 400 Chinese peace-keepers in Africa are helping people there in fighting the disease. China will also provide Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with 60 ambulances, 100 motorcycles, 10,000 health-care kits, 150,000 personal protection kits as well as other materials such as hospital beds, pick-up trucks and incinerators.

A Chinese mobile medical lab in Sierra Leone has helped improve the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment since it began testing blood samples of suspected Ebola carriers on 17 September. In Liberia, the Chinese contingent of the UN Mission is set to help build an Ebola Quarantine and Control Centre in the capital city of Monrovia.

China's assistance will not stop as long as the Ebola epidemic continues in West Africa. As part of a long-term plan, China will also launch a programme of public health cooperation, to help frican countries to strengthen their public health systems and capacity to deal with epidemics.

China is strongly committed to facilitating open and active international cooperation. China has donated US$ 6 million to the UN Ebola Response Multi-partner Trust Fund, and cooperated closely with the local, UN, African Union, U.S. and European teams on the ground.

Given the severity of the disease, it's time that all countries join hands to help out, deliver on aid pledges and mobilize yet more resources, further enhance communication and coordination, as well as support the leading and coordinating role of the UN and the WHO to make the assistance more effective and targeted.

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