UN humanitarian chief urges int'l community to support fight against Ebola in DRC

The UN humanitarian chief on Monday called on the international community to support the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where the epidemic has claimed 621 lives.

"We don't think the world is paying enough attention to Ebola," UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock told reporters, making a 326-million-U.S. dollar appeal to fight the deadly disease. Lowcock said the appeal is to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the DRC. He just returned from a journey to the African country along with Henrietta Fore, head of the UN Children's Fund, to look into the Ebola outbreak, the second worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever behind the 2014-2016 epidemic that killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters shortly afterward the Fore-Lowcock presentation that the World Health Organization has now tallied more than 1,000 cases in northern DRC since the outbreak was declared in August 2018. "As of March 23, 1,009 confirmed and probable cases and 621 deaths had been recorded in North Kivu and Ituri (provinces)," Dujarric said. "More than 300 patients have been released following treatment."