Ban Ki-moon has launched an urgent appeal for funds to help fight Ebola, after a United National drive for donations reached just 0.01% of its goal in its first month.

The UN launched a $1 billion (£623 million) trust fund in September, but has only managed to raise $100,000 (£62,000) so far with just $20 million (£12 million) pledged.

The appeal comes as the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa reaches 4,500, with 9,000 confirmed or suspected infections across Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The global response to the crisis has been widely criticised, with many in the West only starting to take an interest in the outbreak now that the deadly disease has come to Europe and the US, with the first cases of infection have been confirmed in Dallas and Madrid.

Donors have given nearly $400 million (£250 million) to aid organisations such as MSF and other UN agencies to help fight the disease and contain the outbreak, but the UN trust fund, intended to be used as a flexible spending reserve, has not attracted the donations the UN had hoped.

Donors have given almost $400m (£250m) to other UN agencies and aid organisations directly but the UN trust fund, intended to act as a flexible spending reserve, has itself only received pledges of just $20m (£12m).

Ban Ki-moon said:

“I appeal to the international community to provide the $1 billion launch that will enable us to get ahead of the curve and meet our target of reducing the rate of transmission by December 1st.”

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