United Nations: India affirmed its contributions to the international fight against the Ebola outbreak here Tuesday in an agreement with the UN that would, among other things, facilitate the transfer of $10 million pledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the UN efforts against the disease.
Asoke Kumar Mukerji, India's Permanent Representative to the UN, and Yannick Glemarec of the UN Development Programme inked the accord for the Ebola Response Multi Partner Trust Fund (MPTF).
Glemarec is the executive coordinator of the fund, which was set up as part of the UN system-wide response to Ebola that was launched in October by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
India has also contributed $2 million for buying protective gear for those on the frontline of the fight against Ebola, which is devastating three West African nations - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has received $500,000 from India for its anti-Ebola campaign.
With the $10 million pledge, Modi was the first government head to announce a substantial contribution when the MPTF was set up in September. This set the ball rolling with pledges from other countries flowing in. Currently, India is the third largest contributor to the MPTF.
As of Monday, according to the WHO, Ebola has stricken 17,800 people and 6,331 have died from the disease.
At a UN General assembly debate on response to Ebola in October, India offered its support for developing vaccines and medicines for the disease.
Given India's role in producing affordable medicines to combat the AIDS epidemic in Africa, Mukerji told the UNGA, "The international community must support research and development of a vaccine to cure Ebola, which must be made available especially to the poorest of the poor at realistic prices, and India is committed to cooperation to this end."
The three affected countries have also received help directly from India for their efforts to contain the disease, including bilateral assistance worth $50,000 in medicines and ambulances to each of them.
On Monday at a ceremony to hand over 15 buses from India, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf praised the Indian government and people for their support to Liberia during the deadly Ebola crisis, the Monrovia Inquirer reported.
In addition, these countries have received private help from Indian sources. The Association of the Indian Community in Liberia (AICL) has given items worth more than $200,000 to the nation's anti-Ebola effort, according to the Liberian Observer.
The Indo-Gulf Hospital in Noida, a suburban town adjoining Delhi, has contributed medicines and other supplies worth Rs.3 million to Guinea for its campaign against Ebola.