The US Ebola price tag: 5 things to know

The U.S. government, though slow to act, initiated the largest effort by a single donor to respond to the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which killed more than 11,000 people, according to The Kaiser Family Foundation.

Congress passed an emergency appropriation for fiscal year 2015 to support ongoing efforts, a significantly larger amount than it allotted for SARS and avian influenza, according to KFF.

Now, a year later, the outbreak is winding down, but much of this funding remains. KFF provided an update on how funds have been spent on Ebola support and what remains.

Here are five things to know about U.S. Ebola funding, as presented by KFF.

1. In November 2014, the Obama Administration requested $6.4 million in emergency funding to address the mounting Ebola crisis, which started as early as March 2014. In December 2014, Congress authorized $5.4 billion in funding. Prior to authorization of the emergency funds, U.S. agencies — primarily the U.S. Agency for International Development — spent an estimated $770 million.

2. The $5.4 billion appropriation for fiscal year 2015 could be used to reimburse previous expenditures. USAID reported all of their spending on Ebola in 2014 was backfilled, according to the report. The budget allowed for $3.7 billion of the funds to be used internationally, $1.1 billion for domestic efforts and $515 million for research and development.

3. Of the $3.7 billion allotted for international efforts, $2.5 billion was given to USAID, which was the lead agency for the response; $1.2 billion was given to the CDC, which led the medical response; $42 million was given to the State Department, which assisted other countries' response; and $17 million was given to the Defense Department for clinical trials for vaccines and treatments. Domestic funding was split among HHS' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the CDC.

4. As of early November, about $1.9 billion in international funding has been spent on Ebola by USAID, CDC and DOD. USAID said it spent $939 million, the DOD spent $632 million and the CDC spent $355 million.

5. According to KFF, only limited information is available on how the $1.9 billion was spent. USAID funds were provided through the Office of Disaster Assistance, Food for Peace and Global Health Programs. Details on CDC and DOD funds are unknown. Much of the funds remain and are available to most agencies for at least five years or until expended, according to the report.


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