Rapid-reaction force

Hitting Ebola Where it Hurts

Ebola AP
Thousands of people have been infected during the West African Ebola outbreak.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Organizing rapid-response teams to tackle epidemics before they spread could not only save lives, but also prevent economic disaster in affected countries.

  • Facts


    • Germany has contributed nearly €200 million to fighting the Ebola epidemic.
    • Germany wants to finance an epidemic strike force to respond faster to similar emergencies.
    • The World Bank estimates that Ebola cost Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea $1.6 billion,  €1.49 billion, in 2015.
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A half-year ago, forecasts for the deadly Ebola virus were bleak. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that more than one million people in West Africa could be infected by the beginning of 2015. In the worst case, the epidemic could spread beyond Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

While it is still too early to sound the all-clear for the hardest-hit countries in West Africa, German government officials will find a far less endangered region when they travel to West Africa this week.

Hermann Gröhe, the health minister, and Gerd Müller, minister of economic cooperation and development, will visit the region on Thursday and Friday, including Liberia, where the epidemic killed nearly 4,500 people.

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