UN has just $127,400 in Ebola trust fund: Report

Members of the NGO U Fondation prepare medication on Oct 16, 2014 in Monrovia, before visiting quarantined people suffering from the Ebola virus. -- PHOTO: AFP
Members of the NGO U Fondation prepare medication on Oct 16, 2014 in Monrovia, before visiting quarantined people suffering from the Ebola virus. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United Nations trust fund for Ebola has barely US$100,000 (S$127,400), a pittance compared to what the world body says it needs to fight the worst outbreak on record, the New York Times said on Friday.

The cash, which came from Colombia, is a tiny fraction of the US$1 billion that the UN has estimated it needs to fight the epidemic that has killed around 4,500 people, the Times said.

The UN regards the Ebola trust fund as a flexible cash resource that can be drawn on as needed to contain the epidemic, the Times said, quoting UN officials.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Mmoon had earlier told reporters the fund had US$20 million in cash, but aides later said that amount referred to pledges and not cash, the Times said.

Separately, donors have given cash and non-cash contributions worth about US$376 million to specific UN programmes.