The latest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the ‘most severe public health emergency seen in modern times’. However, its impact has gone beyond health, affecting every part of society, impeding the delivery of basic services, affecting economic sustainability of individuals and countries, and jeopardizing social cohesion. UNESCO has a key role to play in the global response. Able to call upon expertise in a number of different fields (culture, education, communication and the sciences) as well as close working relationships with ministries, civil society, other United Nations (UN) agencies, multi-laterals and other development partners including the private sector, UNESCO is in an ideal position to provide support to Member States in the Ebola response. In keeping with its mandate, and as part of its support to Member States, UNESCO’s immediate goal is to strengthen the ability of countries to respond to, and withstand the Ebola crisis both in affected countries and beyond.
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