ASTANA – Responding to an international call to help ease the suffering that Ebola is causing in West Africa, the government of Kazakhstan has decided to increase sixfold its contribution to fighting the epidemic, the Central Asian country’s foreign ministry announced Friday.
Astana is to provide $300,000 to the African Union’s special project to fight Ebola in addition to an earlier transfer of $50,000 to the UN Ebola Trust Fund, the ministry said.
Kazakhstan has been an AU observer-state since 2013.
The Kazakh Foreign Ministry said the decision reflects Astana’s aspiration to enhance and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa and render tangible aid to the suffering population in the countries hit by the outbreak of the virus.
Earlier this month, Kazakhstan reaffirmed its commitment to aid the global drive to control the Ebola epidemic during a meeting between Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington.
Although Kazakhstan is Ebola-free and has no direct air links with West Africa, Kazakh health authorities have put in place a plan of action as a precautionary measure that includes special health services at airports and the screening of suspected patients.