Government pledges more aid for Ebola rehabilitation

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Government pledges more aid for Ebola rehabilitation

The Korean government on Friday pledged an additional $5 million in humanitarian aid to speed the recovery of the nations hardest hit by the devastating Ebola epidemic.

The latest figure announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is on top of $5 million worth of aid the country promised in September 2014 at the United Nations General Assembly, and the $600,000 that was said to be allocated to Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the early stages of the outbreak.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a press release that the additional package would be announced this week at the International Ebola Recovery Conference hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The delegation will be led by Shin Dong-ik, the deputy minister for multilateral and global affairs.

It wasn’t revealed in the statement exactly how the money would be spent or to which countries or nongovernmental organizations it would be funneled. The reasons for why the government chose that amount were unclear.

The head of the Multilateral Cooperation and Humanitarian Assistance Division under the Foreign Affairs Ministry, charged with releasing the statement, could not be reached for comment on Friday afternoon.

Three 24-member groups of Korean doctors and nurses took turns treating patients in Sierra Leone between December 2014 and March, joining a global initiative to fight the highly contagious disease that took more than 6,400 lives, mostly in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Each team completed a three-month mission in the West African country as well as a 21-day quarantine period upon return.

No medical personnel contracted the disease.

The mission marked the first time Korea sent an emergency relief team abroad to battle a deadly epidemic.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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