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Support for ongoing projects has continued unabated in 2018 and now into 2019, further establishing the influence that Trade Aid UK has been able to give to important relief programmes worldwide. Much of this has been enabled by the continued sale of Trade Aid UK Granulated and Caster Sugar through Tesco Stores and online at Ocado together with the sale of ethical travel insurance through its partner www.travelandinsure.com. The use of external aid agencies and charities has been instrumental in us being able to reach the remotest parts of the globe where often the needs are greatest. The individual aid projects supported by the Trade Aid UK Foundation can be viewed by simply scrolling up and down the project panel on this page and clicking on the project that interests you.

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Medical Support - Ebola Crisis

On 1st August 2018, an Ebola outbreak was officially declared in Eastern DR Congo in Beni Territory. This is the 10th outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo, declared just one week after the ninth was declared over 2,500km (1,553.43 miles) west in Equateur Province, adding to an already challenging humanitarian situation in the country.

Since August 2018, Medair in DRC, has been responding to contain a new Ebola outbreak affecting the country, with a focus on three key priorities, facilitating swift, safe referral of patients, halting infection spread, and ensuring continued delivery of health services. Trade Aid UK is providing funding support to Medair in their emergency response to this ongoing medical crisis.
 
After the Ebola outbreak was declared, the epidemic progressed significantly in the following weeks. The majority of cases were confirmed in Nord Kivu Province, along with a number of cases in Ituri Province. As of 6th November 2018, there were 308 cases (273 confirmed, 35 probable), with 191 deaths in total. Due to the outbreak being in a conflict zone where armed groups regularly form and fragment, delivering life-saving interventions is highly complex. Activities of NGOs are restricted to specific areas and times of the day. Bringing in specialised supplies that are not available locally, recruiting quality staff and navigating long distances over poor roads to reach sites, add to the challenge of providing crucial aid in these areas.

More than 11,300 people died in the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, in large part due to population mobility and spread of infection in urban areas. In September 2018, the identification of new Ebola cases in a large urban area in the northeast of the country, caused fear amongst local authorities and NGOs that the epidemic would spread quickly in this highly populated province. The situation is exacerbated due to difficulties accessing some areas.

After the Ebola outbreak was confirmed, Medair immediately started its emergency response, supporting 54 health facilities. In addition to the 47 that they were supporting prior to the outbreak with WASH programmes, they are currently working in seven additional health centres. These facilities were selected based on the level of risk of suspected cases emerging.

The risk of the outbreak spreading to other provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as to neighbouring countries, remains very high. Medair's first priority is to ensure that suspected Ebola cases can be safely identified, isolated and referred at these health facilities. This is to ensure suspected Ebola patients receive timely care, prevent further spread of Ebola and to enable affected populations to continue to access quality primary health care in a safe environment.

Medair has worked in DRC since 1996 implementing emergency nutrition and health services, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH) and infrastructure projects. They are currently operational in some of the most severely affected areas of DR Congo. They are delivering nutrition projects in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces, and are supporting communities in South Kivu. At the end of 2017, they established a base in Tshikapa, Kasai region, to facilitate response interventions to the growing nutrition crisis there. They cooperate with partners and funders to target their interventions, reaching the most vulnerable and least served.

Medair brings emergency relief and rehabilitation to over two million people a year in some of the most vulnerable countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, all countries that are severely affected by conflicts, natural disasters, or other crises. You can find out more about Medair and the work they are doing by logging onto their website at www.medair.org.

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