THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS & INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
THE HON CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
MEMBER FOR BALLARAT
AUSTRALIA MUST HEED PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CALL AND CONTRIBUTE MORE TO EBOLA CRISIS
FRIDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 2014
The Abbott Government must heed President Obama’s call and contribute more to the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by supporting skilled and experienced Australians who are willing and able to assist.
In a speech overnight to a high level UN meeting, President Obama has called for nations like Australia with the resources, to urgently do more to fight the Ebola crisis.
“We are not moving fast enough. We are not doing enough. Right now, everybody has the best of intentions, but people are not putting in the kinds of resources that are necessary to put a stop to this epidemic.
“More nations need to contribute critical assets and capabilities -- whether it is air transport, or medical evacuation, or health care workers, or equipment, or treatment.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has described the worsening Ebola crisis as “unparalleled in modern times” with the disease now having killed more than 2,800 people and infected nearly 6,000 people in West Africa.
The window of opportunity to contain this outbreak is fast closing. As President Obama said “everybody has to do more”.
Australia is a prosperous and generous nation and our Government should do all it can to assist this humanitarian crisis while it is still possible to contain this Ebola outbreak.
Labor supported the Government’s $8 million in financial contributions, but believes the crisis now demands Australia go further and support specialised personnel who wish to contribute to tackle this rapidly escalating crisis.