World Vision calls on EU decision makers to continue support for vulnerable children and those directly affected by Ebola

  • EU decision makers must continue to support recovery efforts in Ebola affected countries
  • World Vision and Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU organise event to discuss remaining challenges caused by the Ebola epidemic

Aid agency World Vision is calling on EU decision makers to continue their support of Ebola recovery programmes and to prioritise vulnerable children in their response.

World Vision has organised a roundtable today, co-hosted by the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU, in order to raise awareness of the ongoing challenges associated with the Ebola virus. The event seeks to explore with EU officials how to address the issues faced by local communities affected by Ebola – issues such as food insecurity and undernutrition, and how to ensure basic delivery of health care and access to education for all children.

“As the first European Minister to visit Sierra Leone since the start of the outbreak, I saw for myself firsthand the devastating effects of Ebola. Last year Ireland provided almost €18 million in Sierra Leone and Liberia to respond to the Ebola crisis. Our support focused on the crisis itself as well our ongoing development programmes in Sierra Leone and Liberia, both of which have a strong focus on strengthening national health systems,” says Mr Sean Sherlock, Minister of State at Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland.

“EU leaders must continue the good coordination effort with civil society, but must find innovative ways to engage the local community in its post-recovery strategy," says Deirdre de Burca, World Vision’s Director of Advocacy in Brussels. “Access to education especially for pregnant teenage mothers is one of the main problems that we still need to address.”

The international community was slow in responding to the Ebloa outbreak, which claimed thousands of lives in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

“With more than 27,000 cases and more than 11,000 deaths, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most severe ever. Sierra Leone is the worst affected country, with more than 8,600 confirmed cases. But it is more than a health issue. Ebola has affected everyone and impacted everything in Sierra Leone. Trading ceased, children could not go to school, and farming activity was curtailed. This has long term implications which must be addressed,” says Helen Keogh, Chief Executive of World Vision Ireland.

World Vision, in partnership with other organisations, supported the government of Sierra Leone in responding to the Ebola outbreak. It has been responsible for initiating a robust community engagement and mobilisation effort, psychosocial intervention programmes, training and deployment of safe and dignified burial teams, improved management of bola response fleet and support for radio & television educational programmes. 

More than 1 million people in Sierra Leone have benefited from World Vision’s response. Now we must look forward and ‘build back better’. World Vision is determined to play a role in ensuring that health systems are made stronger and systems are put in place to ensure that Sierra Leone will be in a position to adequately deal with such an epidemic should it ever arise again,” says Magnus Conteh, Director of Global Health Programmes for World Vision Ireland.

World Vision consulted over 1100 children across Sierra Leone to understand their needs. Participants in this Children’s Ebola Recovery Assessment report shared their concerns and their most urgent needs which include making schools available for all, to strengthen the health system and to put an end to child labour and exploitation.



World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. It works in close to 100 countries in most regions of the world including Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific Region.

For more information please contact Ludovic Wahis, Policy and Communications Officer, World Vision Brussels & EU Representation, +32 (0) 2 274 18 67,