Cuts in the amount of aid given to Liberia and Sierra Leone by the UK have “compromised the fight” against the Ebola epidemic, MPs have claimed.
Before the outbreak began in West Africa in February, the UK government slashed the health aid it gave to the two countries by nearly a fifth. Now, the Commons' International Development Committee has called for the funding to be reinstated.
In a report, the committee claims the cuts are hindering progress made in containing the disease - and warns it could have made the situation worse.
"The scale of the Ebola crisis now unfolding in Sierra Leone and Liberia may well be connected to declining levels of international support for health system improvements in what remain two of the poorest and least developed countries in the world,” said committee chair Sir Malcom Bruce.
"In the midst of this devastating epidemic, it is wrong for the UK to cut its support to these two countries. The planned termination of further UK funding to the Liberian health sector is especially unwise."
Liberia and Sierra Leone are the biggest sufferers of the Ebola epidemic currently gripping the region. Over 3,000 people have died in West Africa since the start of the epidemic in February, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Later today, health experts and politicians will meet in London to debate options for a global response to the crisis.