The World Health Organization is running low on funding it needs to fight a deadly outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations health agency said Friday.
In an update on the outbreak, the WHO said it has received $55 million in funding — only a fifth of the money it said it needs to complete a strategic response plan in the DRC through the end of 2019.
The organization said it needs $287 million to help affiliate groups curtail the virus and at least $120 million to keep its own operations going. The money it has received so far is projected to run out by the start of October.
“Further resources are needed to fund the response through to December 2019, and WHO is appealing to donors to provide generous support,” it said in a statement.
More than 3,100 people have contracted Ebola among three DRC provinces — and about 2,100 have already died, the WHO said. Experts say the true number of victims is certainly higher because some of the sickened Congolese die at home without an official record, and therefore cannot be added to the official toll. Militant attacks against DRC hospitals have also hindered treatment of the virus.
The DRC outbreak is now the second-deadliest in history — second only to a spread that killed more than 11,300 people between 2013 and 2016.