One World Link starts its appeal for Ebola aid

Wusu Sannoh (right) with John Archer, One World Link's chairman for development in Bo.

Wusu Sannoh (right) with John Archer, One World Link's chairman for development in Bo.

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Warwick district’s link to Ebola-threatened Bo in Sierra Leone has led to the creation of a fund to help people both during and after the emergency.

Members of One World Link met last week and agreed to set up the fund, to which members of the public can also donate.

Bo is not currently under quarantine and those involved with One World Link have not been directly affected but a major aid centre has been set up at the quarantined nearby town of Kenema.

Cllr Jane Knight, member of OWL, said: “We want to offer assistance to those who are in the greatest need.

“The money could be used after the crisis when orphans start to emerge or when families have lost their bread winners.

“It is unbelievable what is happening to some people.

At the time of going to print. OWL were awaiting confirmation that member and the former mayor of Bo Wusu Sannoh - a man Cllr Knight said is trusted implicitly - would be overseeing the aid response at that end and ensuring the money is put to the right use.

Cllr Knight said: “Our biggest concern is getting the money to where it is most needed.

“We might go out there ourselves at some point but we need to collect the money now so if Wusu needs, say, £1,000 tomorrow, it can be done.”

The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the largest and most complex since the virus was discovered.

This week, The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 4,447 people have died from the outbreak, mainly in West Africa.

Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have been hardest hit by the outbreak, which began in December 2013 but was confirmed in March.

Former Leamington resident and one of OWL’s founder members Dr Paul Gully has landed in Sierra Leone to work as a field co-ordinator for the WHO.

In an email to Cllr Knight, he said: “I hit the ground running after getting into Freetown at 6.30am yesterday morning.

“The stage is packed with donors, Non-Government Organisations as well as UN agencies, but everyone is trying to get the outbreak under control in one way or another.

“That is not happening yet for sure.”

The UN’s Ebola mission chief Anthony Banbury said the world is falling behind in the race to contain the virus.

To donate to the fund call 07775 853264 or visit www.oneworldlink.org.uk