How has the United Nations responded to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa?
Last Updated: Oct 20, 2015     Views: 482

The first cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa were identified in March 2014. The UN system and other organizations have responded in a variety of ways. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the lead agency in the UN system for this matter.

The UN's actions include the establishment of a mission and high level appointments to coordinate work on this matter:

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)

United Nations Global Ebola Response

UNMEER, the first-ever UN emergency health mission, was established on 19 September 2014 and closed on 31 July 2015, having achieved its core objective of scaling up the response on the ground.

As of 1 August, oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response will fully be led by the World Health Organization (WHO), under the direct authority of the WHO Director-General. 

  • Secretary-General's letter of 17 Sept. 2014 to the General Assembly and Security Council on his intention to establish the mission (A/69/389-S/2014/679)
  •  Security Council meeting of 18 Sept. 2014
  • General Assembly meeting of 19 Sept. 2014
  • Statement by Secretary-General on the transition of UN Ebola emergency response. 
  • Additional meetings and documents may be identified using the Library's catalogue, UNBISnet.

Special Envoy on Ebola

  • David Nabarro appointed on 23 Sept. 2014 (SG/A/1511)

Special Representative and Head of UNMEER

  • Anthony Banbury appointed on 23 Sept. 2014 (SG/A/1511)
  • Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed appointed on 3 January 2015 (SG/A/1531- BIO/4672)
  • Peter Graaff appointed on 25 April 2015, served until closure of UNMEER on 31 July 2015. (SG/A/1564-BIO/4718)

The Library's Quick Guide on the Ebola Virus Disease contains information on the UN and partner organizations' response to the situation. 

Additional information can found on the United Nations Global Ebola Response and the World Health Organization (WHO) Ebola Virus Disease webpages.


Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.


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