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Ebola Virus Outbreak: Quick Guide

Ebola outbreak 2014-2015 and the UN response

The first cases of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa were identified in March 2014.

The UN system and other organizations had responded in a variety of ways. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the lead agency in the UN system for this matter.

WHO Ebola Virus Disease Website (archived content published during the Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015)

The UN's actions included the establishment of a mission and high level appointments to coordinate work on this matter:

United Nations Global Ebola Response

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)
UNMEER, the first-ever UN emergency health mission, was established on 19 September 2014 and closed on 31 July 2015, having achieved its core objective of scaling up the response on the ground.

Timeline of the UN response:

  • Secretary-General's letter of 17 Sept. 2014 to the General Assembly and Security Council on his intention to establish the mission (A/69/389-S/2014/679)
  •  Security Council meeting of 18 Sept. 2014
  • General Assembly meeting of 19 Sept. 2014
  • Statement by Secretary-General on the transition of UN Ebola emergency response: 31 July 2015

Special Envoy on Ebola

  • David Nabarro appointed on 23 Sept. 2014 (SG/A/1511)

Special Representative and Head of UNMEER

  • Anthony Banbury appointed on 23 Sept. 2014 (SG/A/1511)
  • Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed appointed on 3 January 2015 (SG/A/1531- BIO/4672)
  • Peter Graaff appointed on 25 April 2015, served until closure of UNMEER on 31 July 2015. (SG/A/1564-BIO/4718)

The UN Response

UN Reports

Video: Conferences, meetings and other key events

The UN Global Ebola Response provides an updated list of conferences, meetings and key events. 

An emergency session of the UN Security Council on Peace and security in Africa (Ebola) was held on 18 September 2014 (S/PV.7268).

UN Resources

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Non-UN Analysis & Response

More information

Search for e-books, articles and more in DAG Discovery:


This guide is intended to provide delegates and UN Secretariat Staff with selected content from both UN and non-UN sources. It references third-party web sites, books and articles. It does not imply the endorsement of the content by the United Nations.

Access to electronic Resources

Books and articles can be accessed online within the UN Headquarters. Articles can be delivered to permanent mission by e-mail upon request.

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World Health Organization (WHO)

From 1 August 2015, oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response is led by the WHO, under the direct authority of the WHO Director-General. 

WHO Ebola Virus Disease Website

WHO Ebola Fact Sheet

WHO Frequently Asked Questions on Ebola Virus Disease

WHO Ebola Reports

Reports, Studies, and Articles

  • Full text of e-books and articles accessible to UN Library clients in New York.