In March 2014, the Government of Guinea formally recognized an Ebola outbreak. Before long, the outbreak spread to other countries in the region including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. As of October 25, 2014, over 10,141 confirmed or probable cases have been reported in the region, of which 4,922 resulted in death. These numbers are predicted to rise dramatically, with the situation worsening before it gets better.
With 22 million people in need and 2.5 million children under the age of five living in Ebola-affected areas in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and many more living in neighboring countries at-risk, UNICEF is partnering with governments, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to respond to this unprecedented crisis. UNICEF is on the ground, working to control the outbreak, deliver supplies, provide essential social services, and prepare at-risk countries.
We are in a race against time to contain and halt this outbreak. Due to UNICEF's long-standing presence and partnership with the governments of affected countries, we have been able to work quickly on the ground to protect families and prevent further occurrences, assisting the hardest-to-reach, most vulnerable and marginalized populations. However, UNICEF cannot do this work alone. As the outbreak continues unabated, further support is urgently needed to strengthen and deepen the response.