Britain, Sweden donate to struggling UN Ebola Fund

New pledges of financial aid to a UN Ebola fund have reached $118 million with Britain and Sweden offering sizeable contributions after UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleaded for more money.

United Nations: New pledges of financial aid to a UN Ebola fund have reached $118 million with Britain and Sweden offering sizeable contributions after UN chief Ban Ki-moon pleaded for more money.

Britain pledged $32 million and Sweden $15 million to the fund set up by Ban to fight the Ebola outbreak, that has now killed nearly 4,900 people in West Africa, UN officials said Friday.

A $1-billion-dollar appeal for financing by UN agencies has raised $491 million, nearly half the amount needed to fight the world`s worst outbreak of the deadly virus.

The United Nations is leading the international response to the Ebola crisis and has set a target of ensuring at least 70 percent of infected people are getting treatment by December 1. 

Ban last week caused a stir when he complained of having only $100,000 in cash on hand for the fund and urged nations to dig deep in their pockets.

Since then Australia deposited $8.7 million and more countries have committed funds including Venezuela ($5 million), Canada ($3.6 million) and New Zealand ($1.2 million).

China has offered $6 million, Finland $9.1 million, Germany $6.3 million and Denmark $5 million to the trust fund that gives the UN quick access to financing to fight the epidemic.

UN officials say they are hoping to have $100 million in funding secured by the end of the month through formally signed agreements with donors. 

So far it has signed commitments for funding totalling $18.7 million, although the pledges stand at $118 million.

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