Sunday, 2 November 2014

Ebola : Fresh Call for NATO to Lead the Fight Against Virus ( when number of cases are declining)

The United Nations is “most unlikely to be up to the job” of ending the Ebola epidemic and should “let Nato do it for them”, the former chief of Britain’s armed forces has said.
General Sir David Richards said that he was “strongly supportive” of a proposal for Nato to take command of the international response to West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, adding that the crisis demanded “a grand strategic response”

A group of leading political, military and diplomatic figures wrote to Nato’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, last week urging him to commit the military alliance’s “unique capabilities” to the fight against the disease, which has killed nearly 5,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.’

So far, the international response has been spearheaded by aid organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières, which have been stretched beyond their limited capacity.

The US and the UK have now sent military personnel to support the effort, but there are still concerns that the huge logistical operation required to set up treatment centres, trace patient contacts, and guarantee safe burials in countries with poor infrastructure and where many flights have been cancelled, demands a broader response.

"What a crisis like this requires more than anything else is efficient organisation and leadership. It is quite clear that currently these vital ingredients are missing," said Sir David, who stood down as chief of the defence staff last year.

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