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Responses to the West African Ebola virus epidemic
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"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
Organizations from around the world responded to the West African Ebola virus epidemic. In July 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened an emergency meeting with health ministers from eleven countries and announced collaboration on a strategy to co-ordinate technical support to combat the epidemic. In August, they declared the outbreak an international public health emergency and published a roadmap to guide and coordinate the international response to the outbreak, aiming to stop ongoing Ebola transmission worldwide within 6–9 months. In September, the United Nations Security Council declared the Ebola virus outbreak in the West Africa subregion a "threat to international peace and security" and unanimously adopted a resolution urging UN member states to provide more resources to fight the outbreak; the WHO stated that the cost for combating the epidemic will be a minimum of $1 billion.The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the World Bank Group have pledged aid money and the World Food Programme announced plans to mobilize food assistance for an estimated 1 million people living in restricted access areas. Several Non-Governmental Organizations have provided assistance in the efforts to control the spread of the disease. Up until the end of September, the humanitarian aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) is the leading organization responding to the crisis, with several treatment centers in the area. Samaritan's Purse has also provided direct patient care and medical support in Liberia; many nations and charitable organizations, foundations, and individuals have also pledged assistance to control the epidemic.
As of September 2014, a massive international response to the crisis is under way. The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) has the task of overall planning and coordination, directing the efforts of the UN agencies, national governments, and other humanitarian actors to the areas where they are most needed.Calling Ebola healthcare workers "the ones who answered the call", in December the editors of Time magazine named the Ebola health workers as Person of the Year. Editor Nancy Gibbs said, "The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are Time's 2014 Person of the Year." Both Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and Samaritan's Purse were singled out as organisations that responded very early in the epidemic with especially dedicated workers who had worked alongside local caregivers.