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African Icons Come Together to Demand Action on Ebola

Akon, Femi Kuti, Angelique Kidjo, Danai Gurira, Ice Prince, Judith Sephuma, Fally Ipupa, Desmond Elliot, Diamond, Mafikizolo, Magasco and others demand quicker action to stop Ebola now.

JOHANNESBURG –The ONE Campaign has brought together fourteen African artists to pressure African leaders do more – and quickly – to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and take action to strengthen national health systems to prevent and contain future outbreaks.

In the video, Akon (Senegal) Fally Ipupa (DRC), Angélique Kidjo (Benin), Danai Gurira (Zimbabwe), Ice Prince, Femi Kuti, Desmond Elliot and Praiz (Nigeria); Mafikizolo and T-bo Touch (South Africa), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Diamond (Tanzania) and Magasco (Cameroon) are joined by a nurse who treated Ebola patients and an Ebola survivor in making this call .

The video reiterates the call by African Union Chair, H.E. Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for all African leaders  to  take more responsibility and act urgently by providing more trained personnel, materials, financing and international coordination to all affected countries. ONE’s campaign is focused on ensuring governments deliver their pledges and increase their response.

The video, which is completely silent, highlights how the world waited too long to act, and over 5,000 lives were lost as a result. However, we cannot wait any longer for the delivery of commitments made if this fight against Ebola is to succeed.

The video ends with a call to action for citizens to sign ONE’s petition. The petition asks world leaders to step up and provide more trained personnel, materials, financing and international coordination to help stop Ebola.  We are calling on African citizens to add their voices by signing the ONE petition urging African and world leaders to do more.

Dr Sipho Moyo, Executive Director of ONE Africa, said:

“The world’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak was too slow, too uncoordinated and as a result too costly if you consider that over 5,000 lives were lost. We need to see an acceleration of coordinated efforts if we are to stop Ebola in its tracks. In the spirit of African solidarity, our leaders have stood with the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea in their fight against Ebola. However, given the magnitude of the crisis, there is need to scale up the commitments both in cash and in kind; and in the long run the need to invest in strengthening of national health systems across most of our African countries cannot be overstated if we are to avoid similar outbreaks in the future.”

Congolese musician Fally Ipupa said:

“We are waiting for African nations to heed the African Union call to step up and lead the way, effectively responding to this heartbreaking crisis.  DRC stopped Ebola. Nigeria Stopped Ebola. The countries still affected need all African countries to do more to stop it there, starting with sending more healthcare workers to the affected countries. This is a humanitarian crisis that demands the attention of not only the entire continent, but the entire world.”

Dr Nkosazana Zuma , Chairperson of the African Union Commission, said:

“African governments have made pledges and given support, with international donors making meaningful contributions. However, more needs to be done faster to contain the virus and to create sustainable systems to prevent the recurrence of such public health emergencies. Thus, while our first priority needs to be containing this Ebola outbreak, it is equally important that Africa and the world take bold steps now to invest in strengthening health systems so that future tragedies of this kind can be stopped in their tracks.”

The video is launched alongside ONE’s “Ebola Response Tracker” which has the following findings on global and African contributions to the Ebola fight:

  1. African countries have made significant and commendable contributions. In particular, Nigeria has pledged $3.5 million; Kenya, Namibia, and Cote d’Ivoire have each pledged $1 million, and Ethiopia announced a plan to donate $500,000. The continent’s wealthiest individuals and firms announced a total commitment of $28.5 million.
  2. The DRC, Nigeria, and the East African Community have led the way in promising health care personnel, committing more than 2,000 individuals to help on the ground. Countries like South Africa have contributed significant in-kind resources
  3. There is a significant discrepancy between money pledged and money disbursed on the ground.
  4. No major donors have attached timelines to their contributions. Many are also unclear whether cash for the Ebola response is new money or simply funds repurposed from other foreign aid programs.
  5. Accurate data on health care workers – the most critical part of the response – is very difficult to obtain. It’s also challenging to determine what kinds of personnel (i.e. epidemiologists, first responders, nurses) are required, pledged, or deployed in the field.

For a link to the full video, click here

Ebola Response Tracker: http://www.one.org/ebolatracker

To sign the petition: http://act.one.org/sign/ebola_africa


About ONE

ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization backed by more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. We raise public awareness and press political leaders to keep their promises to end extreme poverty by combating HIV/AIDS and other preventable diseases, increasing investments in agriculture and nutrition and demanding greater transparency in poverty fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit nor receive funding from the public or receive government funding. ONE is funded almost entirely by foundations, individual philanthropists and corporations. We achieve change through policy advocacy. Our teams in Washington, D.C., New York, London, Johannesburg, Brussels, Berlin, and Paris educate citizens and lobby governments to shape policy solutions that save and improve millions of lives. To learn more, go to ONE.org.