WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to coordinate the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak, which has so far sickened more than 1,600 people, including nearly 900 who have died from the disease.
The team will comprise staff from the Agency’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, who will be overseeing critical areas of the response, such as planning, operations, logistics in coordination with other federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services. Members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also serve on the DART to lead on public health and medical response activities.
USAID is also announcing an additional $5 million in assistance to help ramp up the international community’s Ebola response efforts. Specifically, this funding will go toward the expansion of Ebola outbreak programs the Agency is already supporting in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. These programs help trace people who may be infected with the disease, as well as provide health clinics and households with hygiene kits, soap, bleach, gloves, masks, and other supplies to help prevent the spread of disease.
USAID is also supporting outreach campaigns to provide information on Ebola and its symptoms to the general public and health workers in affected countries who may not be familiar with the disease. These messages are being conveyed through radio, text messages, and through local media.
In addition to the new funding, USAID has provided $2.1 million to the UN World Health Organization and UNICEF for the deployment of more than 30 technical experts and other Ebola response efforts.