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Christos Stylianides, the commissioner for humanitarian aid, will today discuss the situation in Ebola-affected countries with the EP’s development committee, following his fact-finding mission to West Africa. The meeting focuses on assessing progress and identifying what further measures are needed to tackle the outbreak. Ahead of the debate we asked Gilles Pargneaux, a French member of the S&D group, his thoughts about the situation. Follow the meeting live on our website from 17.00 CET.
Development committee members will discuss with Stylianides, who is the EU coordinator for the Ebola crisis, the situation in the West African countries affected by Ebola. Stylianides visited Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea between 12 and 16 November.
The EU has pledged nearly €900 million to help tackle the Ebola crisis but members of the development committee have criticised member states for their reluctance to fully coordinate and scale up their efforts during the summer.
We asked Gilles Pargneaux, author of a 2013 EP report on serious cross-border threats to health, about what he thought of the crisis. “Fighting Ebola is like a war,” he said. “We must prevent this virus from proliferating in Europe.” He said that apart from prevention measures in Europe, action was also needed in West Africa: “The EU and its member states have the political and humanitarian responsibility to answer concretely to the crisis. We must intervene where it’s necessary: in West Africa.”
Pargneuax welcomed the €877 million earmarked for fighting Ebola by the EU but urged member states to better coordinate their national politics together. “It’s crucial to do an inventory of European health facilities and sharing resources between member states – such as beds, aircrafts, equipment – is essential.”
Follow the debate live on Monday 17 november from 17.00 by clicking on the link to the right.