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Video/Photo: WHO/W. Romeril

1. UN Ebola mission launches surge effort in Sierra Leone

The Western Area of Sierra Leone is the “hotspot” in this Ebola outbreak at the moment, with the highest transmission of any of the three most affected countries. The Government of Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization, and partners, are sending in a massive surge of staff and resources to this area to intensify efforts to curb the spread of Ebola disease. Learn more.

2. UNDP announces new Ebola support from private sector

Private sector organizations have contributed $300 million toward the Ebola outbreak and have stepped up their support to the UN Development Programme’s Ebola response, donating equipment and delivering services that will both benefit communities immediately and serve them long after the epidemic has ended. Businesses are now helping fight Ebola with unprecedented innovation and creativity. Learn more.

3. Health workers in Sierra Leone to receive hazard pay using mobile money

For the first time in Sierra Leone, response workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will receive “hazard pay” using mobile money. One of the most difficult things about tackling the Ebola crisis is in the area of human resources. The transition from direct cash to an electronic solution will help to improve overall efficiency, timeliness and security of payments for Ebola response workers. Learn more.

4. A new head of UNMEER announced

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed succeeds Anthony Banbury of the United States. Learn more.

5. The Ebola response situation summary

As of this week, there have been a total of 18,603 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the Ebola virus reported in five affected countries (Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, and the United States of America) and three previously affected countries (Nigeria, Senegal, and Spain). There are signs that the increase in incidence has slowed in Sierra Leone and no new cases have been reported in Mali since 24 November. Read the full Ebola response roadmap situation, now available in an interactive map journal that shows the evolution of the outbreak and the global response.