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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Ebola

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Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) is a rare but severe, often fatal illness, with a death rate of up to 90% in humans caused by the Ebola virus, a member of the filovirus family. Death rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks. The Ebola virus was first identified in 1976 when 2 simultaneous outbreaks occurred, 1 in Yambuku, a village not far from the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the other in a remote area of Sudan. The origin of the virus is unknown, but current evidence suggests that fruit bats (Pteropodidae) may be a host.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) – Frequently asked questions on Ebola virus disease

 

DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – Oct 2021: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2021-000157-cod

DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – Feb 2021: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2021-000014-cod
Guinea: Ebola Outbreak – Jan 2021: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2021-000016-gin
DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – Jun 2020: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2020-000144-cod
DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – Aug 2018: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2018-000129-cod
DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – May 2018: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2018-000049-cod
DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – May 2017: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2017-000048-cod
DR Congo: Ebola Outbreak – Aug 2014: https://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2014-000118-cod
West Africa: Ebola Outbreak – Mar 2014: http://reliefweb.int/disaster/ep-2014-000041-gin


New Ebola outbreak declared in Guinea (14 February 2021):
https://www.afro.who.int/news/new-ebola-outbreak-declared-guineaEbola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo (10 February 2021): https://www.who.int/csr/don/en/

UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and MSF announce the establishment of a global Ebola vaccine stockpile (11 January 2021):
https://www.who.int/news/item/11-01-2021-unicef-who-ifrc-and-msf-announce-the-establishment-of-a-global-ebola-vaccine-stockpile

UN Entities

  • Global Ebola Response: http://ebolaresponse.un.org/
    This website details the UN system and partners response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The archived content shows the international effort to get to zero cases. The content was published during 2014-15. The United Nations family remains committed to supporting the long-term recovery of the region and prevention future outbreaks.

  • United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER): http://ebolaresponse.un.org/un-mission-ebola-emergency-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.
  • Global Health Crises Task Force: https://www.un.org/en/our-work/global-health-crises-task-force
    The Global Health Crises Task Force was established by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a period of one year, beginning on 1 July 2016.

Selected documents:

  • Security Council resolution 2439 (2018) / adopted by the Security Council at its 8385th meeting, on 30 October 2018: http://undocs.org/S/RES/2439(2018)
    on condemning attacks by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their role in exacerbating the Ebola virus outbreak
  • A/71/810 (24 February 2017): Lessons learned exercise on the coordination activities of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response: report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions: http://undocs.org/A/71/810
    “Annex: United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response: budget proposals, final appropriation and actual expenditure”: p. 11-13.
  • A/70/737 (4 Mar. 2016): Lessons learned exercise on the coordination activities of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response: report of the Secretary-General: http://undocs.org/A/70/737 and http://undocs.org/A/70/737/Corr.1
    Prepared in response to General Assembly resolution 69/274 B.  “Annex: Asset disposal breakdown”: p. 23
  • A/69/1014 (1 September 2015): Letter dated 1 September 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/1014
    Reports on the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 to 31 July 2015, the 300-day mark since the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER); records activities carried out by the Special Envoy on Ebola and UNMEER, and provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since the update of 24 July 2015 (A/69/992).
  • A/69/992 (24 July 2015): Letter dated 24 July 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/992
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 June through 1 July 2015 since the establishment of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER); provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since the update of 16 June 2015 (A/69/939).
  • A/69/908 (26 May 2015): Letter dated 22 May 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/908
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 Apr. to 1 May 2015; provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since the update of 16 Apr. 2015 (A/69/871).
  • S/2015/282 (27 April 2015): Letter dated 23 April 2015 from the Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission addressed to the President of the Security Council: http://undocs.org/S/2015/282
    Reports, in the capacity as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, the visits to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Senegal/UN Office for West Africa, from 5 to 10 Apr. 2015, to assess the impact of the Ebola crisis on peacebuilding.
  • A/69/871 (16 April 2015): Letter dated 16 April 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/871
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 Mar. to 1 Apr. 2015; provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since the update of 13 Mar. 2015 (A/69/812).
  • A/69/812 (13 March 2015): Letter dated 12 March 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/812
    The report covers developments from 1 February to 1 March 2015, the 150-day mark since the of UNMEER.
  • A/69/759 (10 February 2015): Letter dated 10 February 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/759
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 Jan.-1 Feb. 2015; provides an update on progress made in the Ebola response pursuant to General Assembly resolution 69/1 since the update of 12 Jan. 2015 (A/69/720).
  • A/69/720 (13 January 2015): Letter dated 12 January 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/720
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 1 Nov. 2014-1 Jan. 2015.
  • A/RES/69/132 (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 11 December 2014): Global health and foreign policy: http://undocs.org/A/RES/69/132
  • A/69/573 (12 November 2014): Letter dated 12 November 2014 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly: http://undocs.org/A/69/573
    Reports the work of the UN in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and covers developments from 19 Sept. through 31 Oct. 2014.
  • A/RES/69/3 (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 9 October 2014): United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response: http://undocs.org/A/RES/69/3
  • A/69/408 (30 Sept. 2014): United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response and the Office of the Special Envoy on Ebola : report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions: http://undocs.org/A/69/408
  • A/69/404 (24 September 2014): United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response and the Office of the Special Envoy on Ebola; Report of the Secretary-General: http://undocs.org/A/69/404
  • A/RES/69/1 (Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 19 September 2014): Measures to contain and combat the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa: http://undocs.org/A/RES/69/1
    Annexes (p. 6-10): 1. Summary of estimated preliminary resource requirements – 2. Staffing summary — 3. UNMEER/Office of the Special Envoy structure.
  • A/69/389-S/2014/679 (18 September 2014): Identical letters dated 17 September 2014 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council: http://undocs.org/A/69/389
    In this document the Secretary-General sets forth the Mission’s six guiding principles and 12 actions deemed critical by the Senior United Nations System Coordinator to carry out the Mission’s aims.
  • Further documents – click here

 

Selected press releases & news stories:

 

Secretary-General

The Secretary-General held a High-level Meeting on Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak on 25 September 2014:
https://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sg2207.doc.htm

 

General Assembly

Informal Meeting of the General Assembly – Progress of the Ebola outbreak response and recovery efforts, 13 January 2016:

General Assembly Information Meeting on Ebola, 18 February 2015:

General Assembly Briefing on the Ebola virus outbreak, 20 January 2015:
http://www.un.org/pga/200115_birfing-ebola/

Ebola virus outbreak – General Assembly, Informal meeting, 69th session (10 October 2014):

General Assembly meeting on 19 September 2014 on “Measures to contain and combat the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa”:

 

 

Security Council

8590th meeting of the Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa regarding Ebola, 2 August 2019:

7502nd meeting of the Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa – The global response to the 2013 Ebola virus disease outbreak, 13 August 2015:

7318th meeting of the Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa, 21 November 2014:

7279th meeting of the Security Council on Peace and Security in Africa regarding Ebola, 14 October 2014:

Emergency Session on Peace and Security in Africa (Ebola), 18 September 2014:

 

Economic and Social Council

Special Meeting on “Ebola: A threat to sustainable development”, 5 December 2014
https://www.un.org/ecosoc/en/events/2014/ebola-%E2%80%93-threat-sustainable-development

 

Further Information

23 April 2022
not an official document – for information only
https://unric.org/en/unric-library-backgrounder-ebola/

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