AU to Deploy Humanitarian Aid to Fight Ebola

September 9, 2014

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) decided to deploy a humanitarian mission to help fight the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa during their 450th meeting on August 19th. 

The mandate called for "the immediate deployment of an AU-led military and civilian humanitarian mission, comprising medical doctors, nurses and other medical and paramedical personnel, as well as military personnel, as required for the effectiveness and protection of the mission."

This is a major unprecedented step, as it is the first AU humanitarian intervention in the history of the 54-state union, which was formally launched in 2002. 

The PSC also emphasized the need to pay particular attention to the impact Ebola has had on "the post-conflict reconstruction and socio-economic development efforts in the countries affected," which include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria, and Senegal.

The PSC voiced concerns that "three of [the] affected countries are in a post-conflict situation, and that the epidemic has the potential of undermining the tremendous progress made by these countries over the past few years."

According to the World Health Organization's recently published Ebola Response Roadmap, there have been over 3,000 Ebola cases in Western Africa and over 1,400 deaths caused by the virus. 

The PSC has requested that the AU Commission take "the necessary steps to develop a Concept of Operations for the AU Mission," while encouraging member states and the international community to support the AU in the deployment of their mission. 


Photo courtesy of the European Commission DG ECHO