MONROVIA, Liberia – Countries ravaged by Ebola pleaded for a massive increase in aid at the World Bank Thursday as the U.S. military ramped up its efforts in worst-hit Liberia. "Our people are dying," Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said by videoconference at a World Bank meeting in Washington on the Ebola response. He called the epidemic "a tragedy unforeseen in modern times," saying the world is not responding fast enough as children are orphaned and doctors and nurses continue to die. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for a 20-fold surge in international aid to fight Ebola, calling it “an unforgiving disease."
Two U.S. military flights were due to arrive in Liberia on Thursday, Army Capt. R. Carter Langston told The Associated Press in an email. "Two different flights of MV-22 Osprey and KC-130 aircraft, along with U.S. Marines, will arrive to support the whole-of-government effort to contain Ebola," Carter said, noting they would land at Roberts Airfield outside Monrovia.
The outbreak has killed more than 3,800 people, according to the latest World Health Organization figures. The vast majority of those deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The U.S. military is working to build medical centers in Liberia and may send up to 4,000 soldiers to help with the Ebola crisis. Medical workers and beds for Ebola patients are sorely lacking, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Liberia and Sierra Leone only have enough beds to meet about 21 percent and 26 percent of their needs, WHO said Wednesday.
- The Associated Press