ASSOCIATED PRESS Oct. 20, 2014
By Raf Casert
LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Union committed itself Monday to step up efforts toward getting 1 billion euros ($1.27 billion) in aid to fight Ebola in West Africa and rejected the idea of halting direct flights coming from the region.
The EU foreign ministers set off a week of continentwide action with a pledge "to play an active role in enhancing the international response" to Ebola, which so far has been late and insufficient to contain the deadly virus that has claimed at least 4,500 lives.
British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a two-day summit of the 28 EU leaders ending Friday to reach the $1.27 billion aid threshold, agreeing on a variety of topics from more financial aid to common repatriation procedures, more Ebola treatment facilities and better training for health care workers.
...So far, the overall anti-Ebola total for the EU, including EU national contributions, stands at 500 million euros ($640 million), with Britain contributing 160 million euros ($204 million). The Netherlands also promised to send a frigate to West Africa to help, matching a similar contribution from Britain.
EU ministers rejected the idea of scrapping flights from West Africa to keep the virus out of Europe.