WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with world diplomats on Friday to rush more money and supplies to battle the Ebola virus in west Africa, calling it "a real test of global citizenship."
"Meeting this crisis is going to require that we draw on each other's collective experience and our collective capacities," Kerry told Washington's diplomatic corps at a State Department gathering. "No one country, no individual group of nations is going resolve this problem by themselves. This is going to take a collective, global response, all hands on deck."
Kerry said the U.N. has raised barely a third of the $1 billion needed to curb and treat Ebola, and asked nations to send more cash, trucks, helicopters and crews, treatment centers and hospital beds, incinerators and generators. But most of all, Kerry said, the world needs to send more health care workers and protective equipment to disaster sites.
The U.S. has been asking the world to contribute money and effort on a number of fronts over the last year, including a multibillion-dollar push for Syrian refugees and asking nations to take part in a coalition of military, humanitarian and diplomatic efforts to defeat Islamic State group militants in Syria and Iraq.
Kerry praised recent contributions for the Ebola crisis from nations large and small, including 70 million euros, or about $89 million, from France and Cuba's plans to send as many as 465 health care workers to West Africa.
But he said it's clear that the world must do more, and it must be done quickly.
"If we don't adequately address this current outbreak now, then Ebola has the potential to become a scourge like HIV or polio, that we will end up fighting, all of us, for decades," Kerry said.
"And we shouldn't kid ourselves," he said. "Winning this fight is going to be costly, it is going to take all of our efforts, and it is not risk-free."
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