UNITED NATIONS NEWS CENTRE Dec. 16, 2014
Response workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will receive “hazard pay” for the first time in Sierra Leone using mobile money because “unless there is a certain element of incentives, or danger pay, it’s very difficult to attract and retain people,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.
Ambulance depot near an emergency response centre, in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Ambulances and drivers have to be disinfected after each trip carrying suspected Ebola cases. UN Photo/Martine Perret
“One of the most difficult things about tackling the Ebola crisis is in the area of human resources,” said Sudipto Mukerjee, UNDP’s Country Director for Sierra Leone. “You can construct a treatment centre in a couple of months. You can construct a community care centre in two to three weeks. But getting trained people to come and run them has been a major challenge.”
The transition from direct cash to an electronic solution will help to improve overall efficiency, timeliness and security of payments for Ebola response workers, Mr. Mukerjee said.