Dutch ship set for new mission to Ebola-hit countries

Dutch navy transport ship Karel Doorman will on Friday return to West Africa to deliver dozens of vehicles, food and medical kit in the fight against Ebola, officials said Monday.

"The Karel Doorman will set sail on Friday loaded with vehicles, medical equipment and for , as well as 1,500 tonnes of food for the World Food Programme," the Dutch Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Amid the cargo are "some 50 vehicles including ambulances, utility vehicles, 40 containers of clothing including protective suits, beds and 1,700 crates of rice," it said.

The Royal Dutch Navy's largest ship last month undertook a similar mission to drop off aid in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea—three of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak, which has left 6,000 dead and overwhelmed health services.

The first of the aid is to be loaded in the southern Dutch port city of Vlissingen, after which the ship will sail to La Rochelle in France and Gibraltar for additional supplies before heading to the Gulf of Guinea.

The United Nations is leading international efforts to beat back the Ebola outbreak, which the Security Council has declared a threat to world peace and security.

So far, the Netherlands has contributed 37.8 million euros ($46.4 million) in the fight against Ebola. Over the weekend the first Nigerian UN peacekeeper infected with the virus arrived in the Netherlands for treatment.


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© 2014 AFP

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