Colombia is the only country in the world which has donated to the United Nations’ trust fund to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to Reuters news agency.
While various countries have pledged or given some $365 million directly to UN agencies and nonprofits since September to fight the disease, just $100,000 – from the Colombia government – has been donated to the official fund.
Last month, the UN requested $1 billion to combat the spread of the virus. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said that the meager donations thus far received were a “very serious problem.”
Although there exists no evidence for the presence of Ebola in Colombia, the government is seeking to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday that it would not be granting entry visas to anyone who had been in or visited five of the affected countries within the last four weeks for “reasons of national interest,” according the ministry’s website.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos told press last month that “the instructions have been given to step up border security. All the epidemiological control that needs to be done on the border will be done, and it is being done as a preventative measure.”
The president claimed that the risk of the disease spreading in Colombia was low, but that steps should be taken to prevent the spread of the highly infectious disease.
Colombia is not alone in taking preventive steps against Ebola as a number of nations in South America have begun taking precautions to prevent the potential spread of the virus from an international traveler.
Argentina has probably gone the furthest in preparing for a potential outbreak, designating seven hospitals as “Ebola-only” quarantine centers should any cases be found in the country.