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$100,000 ... That's all the UN has in its dedicated Ebola trust fund

The cash, which came from Colombia, is a tiny fraction of the $1 billion that the UN has estimated it needs to fight the epidemic.

A nurse demonstrates Ebola protection gear.
A nurse demonstrates Ebola protection gear.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE UN TRUST fund for Ebola has barely $100,000, a pittance compared to what the world body says it needs to fight the worst outbreak on record, the New York Times reports today.

The cash, which came from Colombia, is a tiny fraction of the $1 billion that the UN has estimated it needs to fight the epidemic that has killed around 4,500 people, the Times said.

The UN regards the Ebola trust fund as a flexible cash resource that can be drawn on as needed to contain the epidemic, the Times said, quoting UN officials.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had earlier told reporters the fund had $20 million in cash, but aides later said that amount referred to pledges and not cash, according to the paper.

Separately, donors have given cash and non-cash contributions worth almost $400 million to other UN initiatives, the BBC reports today.

Here at home, Health Minister Leo Varadkar has been setting out the national strategy, should an Ebola case be confirmed in Ireland.

The disease has killed around 4,500 people since the latest outbreak began in March of this year — mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

© AFP 2014, with additional reporting from Daragh Brophy.

Read: Ireland might see ‘a few cases’ of Ebola. So, how will it cope?

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