MONUSCO Force Reduction To Leave WHO Operations In DR Congo Unaffected - Director-General

MONUSCO Force Reduction to Leave WHO Operations in DR Congo Unaffected - Director-General

The proposed reduction of the 16,000-strong UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (MONUSCO) forces by 2,000 peacekeepers will have no effect on the World Health Organization's (WHO) response to the Ebola outbreak in the country, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said during a press conference on Thursday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The proposed reduction of the 16,000-strong UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (MONUSCO) forces by 2,000 peacekeepers will have no effect on the World Health Organization's (WHO) response to the Ebola outbreak in the country, Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said during a press conference on Thursday.

Earlier in March, media reported that the number of the MONUSCO staff could be reduced by 2,000 after the presidential election, held in DR Congo in December.

"We are in regular contact with [UN] Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and I assure you that there will not be any impact on the support that they are giving us based on the action that they are doing with the peacekeeping," Ghebreyesus said, when answering a question on whether the reduction of the peacekeeping force will impact the WHO response to the Ebola outbreak.

According to the most recent statistics on the outbreak in the African country, which started there last August, there have been 927 confirmed and probable cases, with 584 deaths. The WHO has vaccinated more than 87,000 people.

The Ebola virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals and is estimated by the WHO to have a 50-percent fatality rate. Ebola is named after the DR Congo's Ebola River, near which the virus was discovered by Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot and his team in 1976.

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