11 Nov 2014
Anthony Banbury (right), Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) during his recent visit to Liberia. (4 November 2014) UN Photo/Ari Gaitanis
The true numbers of people affected and dying of the Ebola virus in West Africa are higher than the numbers reported, the UN Special Envoy has warned.
Anthony Banbury who is also the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has recently finished a round of visits to the affected countries.
For the past five weeks, he travelled to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to oversee the international effort to combat the outbreak.
Mr Banbury added that he was particularly alarmed by the presence of the virus in remote areas the UN has no access to.
“The situation is evolving very fast. Each trip I saw a different situation on the ground and was able to learn a lot more. What I’m most alarmed by, what’s most disconcerting, is the presence of the Ebola virus, the disease that’s killing people, in remote areas that we don’t yet have access to. As we get more and more out in the countryside, we’re finding more and more cases of the disease, more communities affected. So I’m deeply concerned that the true numbers of people affected by the virus, dying of it, are higher than the numbers being reported.”
The Special Envoy said his number one priority was to “stop Ebola as fast as possible”.
He is currently in New York to deliver a briefing to Member States about recent developments on the ground.
Stephanie Castro, United Nations.