Ebola is poised to become the “definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation”, Oxfam has warned, with more troops, funding and medical aid urgently needed to tackle the outbreak.
In an “extremely rare” move, the charity is calling for military intervention to provide logistical support across West Africa. It says the world has less than two months to counter the spread of the deadly virus, so troops are now “desperately needed” to build treatment centers, provide flights and offer engineering and logistical support.
While Britain was leading the way in Europe’s response to the epidemic, it said countries which have failed to commit troops were “in danger of costing lives”. Oxfam highlighted Italy, Australia and Spain as examples of countries who have committed no troops, despite Spain having a specialist medical expertise unit in its military.
Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s chief executive, warned the world “is in the eye of a storm” as the latest outbreak progresses. “We cannot allow Ebola to immobilize us in fear, but instead we must move toward a common mission to stop it from getting worse,” he cautioned.
An Oxfam spokeswoman added: “The Ebola crisis could become the definitive humanitarian disaster of our generation. The world was unprepared to deal with it. It is extremely rare for Oxfam to call for military intervention to provide logistical support in a humanitarian emergency. “However, the military’s logistical expertise and capacity to respond quickly in great numbers is vital.”