Cuba’s Ebola Diplomacy

Jon Lee Anderson | The New Yorker | November 4, 2014

Even in this age of international coalitions, the one arrayed against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is impressive. In September, more than a hundred and thirty nations voted in favor of a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring the virus, which is rampant in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, a threat to international security and creating the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, devoted to fighting the virus. The mission was put under the control of Anthony Banbury, a veteran U.N. troubleshooter, who hoped to tackle the job without the red tape that often bogs down U.N. missions. Within a week, Banbury had assembled a team of international experts, selected from thousands volunteers from the U.N.’s myriad agencies, and headed off to kick-start operations at his new field headquarters, in Accra, Ghana.

President Obama has also made Ebola a top priority, ordering sixty-five health professionals, supported by nearly four thousand U.S. troops, to Liberia to help oversee the construction of eighteen mobile health clinics there. The United Kingdom has undertaken a similar initiative, dispatching seven hundred and fifty troops and medical teams to Sierra Leone, a former British colony. Other countries, including Japan and India, have made donations of money, equipment, and small teams of medical personnel. Last week, after coming under criticism for not doing more, China announced that it will send its own sizeable military contingent and medical corps to the region...