Ebola Relief Workers: US, We Want Your Aid, Not Your Troops

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
A nurse with the Doctors Without Borders medical-aid organization examines a patient in the intake area at a center for victims of the Ebola virus in Guekedou, Guinea, on April 1, 2014. 
SEYLLOU/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S., United Kingdom, European Union and the Gates Foundation are all donating money and resources to help curb the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but aid workers on the ground have one main concern with the strings attached to America’s aid: The U.S. wants to dispatch a security detail to accompany the health care workers that it sends, and aid workers on the ground don’t want that kind of military presence in treatment camps, an Al-Jazeera report explains.

The international health care workers brigade Doctors Without Borders issued a statement expressing gratitude for the resources President Barack Obama recently allocated for the crisis, but it didn’t shy away from communicating its concerns.


“[Doctors Without Borders] welcomes President Obama’s commitment to deploy medical assets to help establish isolation units in the Ebola-affected region, and reiterates the need for this support to be of medical nature only,” its statement read.

“Aid workers do not need additional security support in the affected region,” it continued.

The World Health Organization and the Catholic Relief Services, a nonprofit organization, backed Doctors Without Borders’ reluctance to welcome American troops.

“What we don’t want to see is the U.S. military going in with guns and enforcing quarantines. It will prevent [a doctor’s] ability to do anything else,” Meredith Stakem, CRS’ West African coordinator, told Al-Jazeera.


Stakem described how there’s a concern that military forces would disrupt the processes already in place and that “U.S. forces should respect the sovereignty and cultures of the local governments in delivering aid,” the news site reports.

Read more at Al-Jazeera.

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