Procedure : 2014/2842(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0107/2014

Texts tabled :

B8-0107/2014

Debates :

Votes :

OJ 18/09/2014 - 43

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2014)0026

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0107/2014
16.9.2014
PE537.009v01-00
 
B8-0107/2014

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the EU response to the Ebola outbreak (2014/2842(RSP))


Nirj Deva, Jan Zahradil on behalf of the ECR Group

B8‑0107/2014 European Parliament resolution on the EU response to the Ebola outbreak (2014/2842(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the ‘public health emergency of international concern’ announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 8 August 2014,

–       having regard to the WHO Ebola response roadmap of 28 August 2014,

–       having regard to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s Ebola risk assessment of 27 August 2014,

–       having regard to the ‘Statement on the Ebola outbreak’ in West Africa by the Commissioner for Health, Tonio Borg, of 8 August 2014,

–       having regard to the ‘Statement on the EU’s response to the Ebola outbreak’ by the Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, of 5 September 2014,

–       having regard to the African Union (AU) mission ‘AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa’ (ASEOWA) established on 21 August 2014,

–       having regard to the United Nations ‘Special Briefing on Ebola’ by Dr Joanne Liu, international president of Médecins Sans Frontières, of 2 September 2014,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas more than 2 000 people have died so far in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal and Nigeria during the current Ebola outbreak in the region of West Africa, which is the largest in history in terms of cases registered, number of fatalities and geographical coverage;

B.     whereas the Ebola crisis remains of extreme concern, not just as regards the increasing number of casualties, but also with respect to the wider challenges it poses in the region in terms of political and economic instability, water shortages, lack of sanitation and food insecurity;

C.     whereas the Ebola pandemic has spread across already fragile and politically unstable countries which, due to their lack of social services or comprehensive healthcare systems, are particularly vulnerable to such outbreaks;

D.     whereas the situation is aggravated by the local population’s deep-rooted distrust of their respective governments, international authorities and foreign health workers; whereas such distrust and accompanying conspiracy theories make the local population prone to defying quarantine measures and resisting all attempts by medical staff to raise public awareness;

E.     whereas bush meat, one of the principal carrier sources of the disease, continues to be the main source of protein available to the people of West Africa; whereas previous government bans on the trade and consumption of bush meat have been largely ignored by the local population;

F.     whereas the humanitarian response is wholly driven by the international community, through Médicins Sans Frontières, the World Health Organization and the World Bank, as well as the European Union and its Members States;

G.     whereas the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department has pledged more than EUR 147 million in humanitarian and development aid for medical equipment that is critical for diagnoses, sterile equipment, sealed suits and containment devices;

H.     whereas EU humanitarian experts have been deployed in the region to monitor the situation and liaise with partner organisations and local authorities;

1.      Welcomes and encourages the ongoing scaling-up of the European Commission’s financial commitment in terms of humanitarian and development aid to respond to the crisis and especially its support for the African Union ASEOWA mission;

2.      Considers the WHO Ebola response roadmap to be a basis for priority activities, notably the differentiated response for countries with widespread transmission and suspected cases in neighbouring countries in which preparedness must be strengthened;

3.      Urges that a ministerial meeting of the Council of the European Union take place to establish a strategy to mobilise the medical response to provide humanitarian aid from the Member States in a coordinated manner;

4.      Points out that, at the moment, there is no vaccine available and that the best approach involves isolating patients and tackling the auxiliary symptoms of the virus;

5.      Calls for educational and informative action to raise awareness of symptoms and preventive measures via non-governmental organisations, in order to facilitate trust and popular cooperation with anti-Ebola measures;

6.      Calls for continued assistance to be channelled towards emergency centres, quarantine hubs, surveillance mechanisms, risk assessment and research into the development of a vaccine to treat Ebola; recognises that certain experimental treatments already exist, but given the early stage of the drug’s development, there is no system yet in place to manufacture and distribute it, even if it were proven to be effective;

7.      Calls on the African Union, with the strong backing of WHO expertise and European Commission funding, to urge ECOWAS to establish an Emergency Army Medical Corps Response Mission whose units could be posted in international airports and at major border crossings in order to detect and contain all suspected cases of infection;

8.      Calls for long-term measures to prevent future outbreaks through substantial investment in local healthcare systems, since properly staffed, well supplied clinics would help affiliated countries cope not only with temporary crises, but also with more common diseases such as malaria (which is responsible for 3 200 deaths every day around the world) and diarrheic diseases (which claim 5 000 casualties a day, many of whom are children);

9.      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the African Union, and the World Health Organisation.

Last updated: 16 September 2014Legal notice