As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In this op-ed for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett argues, "Nothing short of heroic, record-breaking mobilization is necessary at this late stage in the epidemic."
In August 2014, African Union (AU) established the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa (ASEOWA) mission to send health personnel from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Ethiopia to effected countries in West Africa. The African Union Executive Council released an official decision about AU reponse to the Ebola epidemic on September 9, 2014, and the first deployment of volunteers will go to Liberia, followed by a deployment to Sierra Leone.
Dr. Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, spoke at UN Special Briefing on Ebola on September 2, 2014. Dr. Liu lists priorities as "scaling up isolation centers; deploying mobile laboratories to improve diagnostic capabilities; establishing dedicated air bridges to move personnel and equipment to and within West Africa; and building a regional network of field hospitals to treat suspected or infected medical personnel."
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued this roadmap for scaled-up response to the Ebola outbreak and for coordinated international support. WHO states that it aims to stop Ebola transmission in affected countries (particularly Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) within 6-9 months and prevent international spread.
In Africa, the most daunting obstacle to economic growth is rampant corruption that robs citizens of billions of dollars every year. Improving governance in the extractive industries—which are particularly prone to corruption—would go a long way toward achieving more robust and inclusive prosperity, write Stewart M. Patrick and Isabella Bennett.
The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have escalated their counterattack on the Ebola virus, imposing cordons sanitaires aimed at isolating entire regions of their countries in hopes of containing the enemy. Although many in the media accuse these governments of being inhumane or overly severe, Laurie Garrett pulls from her experience in the Ebola outbreak of 1995 in Kikwit, Zaire to show that these dramatic steps can work.
Laurie Garrett explains that experimental drugs and airport screenings will do nothing to stop this current Ebola outbreak. If Ebola hits Lagos, the needs for international assistance will grow exponentially.
The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit shifted the U.S. perception of how it engages with Africa, but was missing a vital component to success—human rights. Amelia M. Wolf argues that if the Obama administration wants to be "central" to development of Africa, as it has claimed, it must support the development of institutions for justice and the rule of law in collaboration with African states, and now is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Even after the World Health Organization's that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a public health emergency of international concern, Laurie Garrett and Maxine Builder argue in the Sunday Express that there is no clear framework for leadership in a globalized epidemic such as this, and without it, the response will be ineffective and Ebola will quickly spiral further out of control.
During August 4-6, 2014, President Barack Obama convened the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, the largest gathering of African heads of state and governments ever assembled by a U.S. President. Fifty-one leaders focused on sustainable development, trade, collaboration, investment, and America's commitment to Africa's security, its democratic development, and its people. The summit took place during the same time as the 13th Annual African Growth Opportunity Act Forum.
Short-term focus on Ebola control cannot be disconnected from a longer term commitment to economic and technical support of the affected nations' health care systems, roads, schools and general development, writes Laurie Garrett.
It didn't take long for Congo's transition from Belgian colony to sovereign state to turn ugly. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were keeping a close eye on the mineral-rich country at the heart of Africa when, on June 30, 1960, it gained independence under a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba.
IMF Director Christine Lagarde gave the keynote speech at the Africa Rising conference in Mozambique on May 29, 2014. She discussed demographic, technological, and environmental challenges to growth, and policy priorities.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »