Britain increases aid to fight Ebola

Britain said Thursday it has committed a further $5 million to help the beleaguered health systems in Sierra Leone and Liberia to fight the spread of Ebola which has killed nearly 1,000 people.

The new package, worth £3.0 million or 3.8 million euros, will allow the World Health Organization, the Red Cross and UNICEF to increase specialist care and improve monitoring of the disease.

It will also provide information boards for rural communities and buy clean blankets to replace contaminated ones, as well as emergency food and clothing for 1,000 families affected, the Department for International Development said.

The new funding brings to £5 million the total that Britain has released to combat the latest outbreak of a disease that causes severe fever and, in the most extreme cases, unstoppable bleeding.

International development minister Justine Greening said: "It is absolutely crucial that the UK helps to make sure the Ebola outbreak is contained.

"At the same time we are working with our partners to care for people affected by the outbreak, particularly children left without their parents."

A meeting Thursday of the British government's emergency COBRA committee—chaired by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and attended by key ministers and government officials—was told the risk from Ebola to Britain remained "very low".

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