Emergency Request Justification - Fiscal Year 2015

Speeches Shim


Since the first cases of Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) were reported in West Africa in March 2014, the United States has mounted a whole-of-government response to contain and stop the spread of the virus, while also taking prudent measures at home. There are currently more than 1,350 U.S. government personnel on the ground in West Africa, making this the largest-ever U.S. response to a global health crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that it will take at least six months to bring the outbreak under control. The goal of the United States in West Africa is to stop the epidemic at its source through mobilizing our government-wide capabilities to fight the epidemic on a regional basis. The Ebola crisis is derailing not only lives, but livelihoods, in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Fears of infection have disrupted normal economic activity in West Africa. If the epidemic is not contained during 2015, this cost will multiply nearly ten-fold.

The requested funding will enhance the Administration’s current whole-of-government response to help end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and support increased domestic preparedness. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are partnering to lead U.S. government efforts to address the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. These agencies have a history of working together, including for the past 10 years in Africa. Building on this foundation, USAID and CDC will lead a coordinated effort against Ebola based on each agency’s unique technical capabilities and comparative advantage. CDC is the Nation’s public health agency and possesses the technical skills and capacity needed to respond effectively to epidemic threats and large-scale public health emergencies. CDC understands this crisis will require the resources and ingenuity that many Departments and Agencies, as well as NGOs, ministries of health and multilateral organizations offer. USAID is the lead federal agency for overseas disaster response and is mandated through the Foreign Assistance Act to provide development assistance and disaster response. USAID has a long history of rapid deployment and scaling up of assistance in crisis environments and expertise in supporting the efforts of the U.S. government through a variety of partners. USAID and CDC are working together through the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) structure to ensure coordination and collaboration on technical and operational matters.

USAID and the Department of State are mobilizing more than $200 million as part of an initial response, but additional resources, including the potential replenishment of funds already used, are required through September 2015 to control the outbreak, mitigate second order impacts, build coherent leadership and operations, strengthen the global health security response, and advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

The request allows funds appropriated to be transferred across accounts within the Department of State and USAID as necessary to provide the most appropriate responses to the Ebola epidemic. The request also allows accounts to be reimbursed for funding that was expended to help stem the Ebola epidemic and prevent an even more rapid spread of the disease prior to the enactment of the emergency appropriation.

Last updated: November 14, 2014

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