15 September 2014 – The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the Ebola outbreak that has gripped West Africa, the president of the 15-member body announced today.
The outbreak, affecting Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, is unprecedented in scope – with more than 4,000 cases having been reported across the region and over 2,200 deaths. It has also dealt a major blow to the already fragile health care systems in West Africa.
“The trend lines in this crisis are grave and without immediate international action we are facing the potential for a public health crisis that could claim lives on a scale far greater than current estimates and set the countries of West Africa back a generation,” Ambassador Samantha Power of the United States, which holds the Council’s presidency for September, told reporters at UN Headquarters.
The meeting – requested by the US owing to the “increasingly grim situation,” particularly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – is expected to hear from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as senior UN officials dealing with the Ebola crisis.