UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The international community has so far failed to adequately address the growing Ebola crisis, the U.N. Security Council said Wednesday.
The press statement came a day after the head of the U.N. mission for Ebola response warned the council that the world must meet critical goals by Dec. 1. If not, Anthony Banbury said, the world will "face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we don't have a plan."
The Security Council statement warns that Ebola is a threat to international peace and security, and it urges all U.N. member states and aid organizations to "accelerate and dramatically expand the provision of resources."
This is the first time the United Nations has created a mission in response to a public health crisis.
More than 4,400 people have been killed in the worst-ever outbreak of the disease, almost all of them in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The World Health Organization warns that the region could see up to 10,000 new Ebola cases a week within two months.
"Ebola got a head start on us, is far ahead of us, is running faster than us, and is winning the race," Banbury said Tuesday. He said he was "deeply, deeply concerned" that all of the efforts so far won't be enough to stop the outbreak.
Representatives of the three countries have repeatedly protested their growing isolation as fears grow. All neighboring countries except for Mali have closed their land borders, and a number of airlines have stopped flights.
The council statement strongly urges airlines and shipping companies to maintain trade and transport links to the countries, "while applying appropriate public health protocols." It also expressed concern about trade and travel restrictions as well as "acts of discrimination against the nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone."