ELIZABETH JACKSON: The US president Barack Obama has used a
meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York to issue an urgent warning that
efforts to stem the Ebola outbreak are falling significantly short of what's
President Obama says countries aren't doing enough to prevent the death toll in West Africa rising to hundreds of thousands and possibly as many as a million, and he's warned the US can't tackle the problem alone.
Our North America correspondent Jane Cowan reports.
JANE COWAN: Speaking to world leaders gathered in New York, the US president gave a stark assessment of international efforts to stem the deadly Ebola outbreak.
BARACK OBAMA: I want us to be clear, we are not moving fast enough. We are not doing enough.
Right now everybody has the best of intentions but people are not putting in the kinds of resources that are necessary to put a stop to this epidemic.
They need more beds, they need more supplies, they need more health workers and they need all of this as fast as possible.
Right now patients are being left to die in the streets because there's nowhere to put them and there's nobody to help them.
One health worker in Sierra Leone compared fighting this outbreak to fighting a forest fire with spray bottles.
JANE COWAN: Barack Obama has already dispatched 3,000 US troops to Liberia to set up facilities and form training teams to help treat Ebola victims.
Congress has also approved the use of money left over from the Afghan war to begin funding the president's $1 billion request to help fight the outbreak.
But president Obama warned other nations the US doesn't have the capacity to deal with the epidemic on its own.
BARACK OBAMA: Do not stand by thinking that somehow because of what we've done that it's taken care of. It's not.
JANE COWAN: Almost 3,000 people have died from Ebola in the five West African countries affected - about half of those infected.
The outbreak which began in a remote corner of Guinea appears to have stabilised in that country but has taken hold of much of neighbouring Sierra Leone, which has put three more districts under indefinite quarantine.
Liberia is now the country hardest hit by the outbreak. It says it has secured imports of basic food staples until December but the disruption caused to its mining sector could trigger a recession next year.
Airlines have suspended flights while expatriate workers have fled.
The UN meeting heard from the Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF: Today we face perhaps the greatest challenge for we cannot allow the projection of a worst case scenario that over 100,000 of our innocent citizens will die from an enemy disease they did not start and do not understand, that the resulting effect will reverse our gains in malaria control and child and maternal mortality.
JANE COWAN: The World Health Organization director, Margaret Chan.
MARGARET CHAN: We should expect things to get worse before getting better. The UN mission on Ebola emergency response is in full emergency mode.
I ask all of you to put yourselves in that same frame of mind. Every day, every minute counts. We need to talk of course but we also need to act with speed and efficiency.
JANE COWAN: The UN chief Ban Ki-moon echoed that sentiment.
BAN KI-MOON: Today it is time for the international community to step up and help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone continue on the path of development and stability.
JANE COWAN: The Canadian government says poor global coordination has bogged down efforts to deliver its Ebola vaccine to Africa.
The experimental vaccine remains in a government laboratory, six weeks after Canada promised to make it available to fight the deadly outbreak.
A third American patient to be treated in the US for Ebola is now free of the virus, while a fourth patient is still being treated in Atlanta.
The World Bank announced it will give another $170 million to fight the epidemic, nearly doubling its total contributions.
In Washington this is Jane Cowan for The World Today.