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UN has just $100,000 in Ebola trust fund

A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia/AFP

A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia/AFP

WASHINGTON, October 17- The UN trust fund for Ebola has barely $100,000, a pittance compared to what the world body says it needs to fight the worst outbreak on record, the New York Times said Friday.

The cash, which came from Colombia, is a tiny fraction of the $1 billion that the UN has estimated it needs to fight the epidemic that has killed around 4,500 people, the Times said.

The UN regards the Ebola trust fund as a flexible cash resource that can be drawn on as needed to contain the epidemic, the Times said, quoting UN officials.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had earlier told reporters the fund had $20 million in cash, but aides later said that amount referred to pledges and not cash, the Times said.

Separately, donors have given cash and non-cash contributions worth about $376 million to specific UN programs.

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