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South Africa : $200m emergency funding to fight Ebola in West Africa promised by World Bank

August 8, 2014

The World Bank Group promised US $200 million in emergency funding to assist the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone contain the spread of Ebola infections.

The fund is to assist their communities deal with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems throughout West Africa.

A statement from the World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor experienced in treatment of infectious diseases, said the new financing commitment was in response to a call from both the three African countries hardest-hit by Ebola and the World Health Organization (WHO) for immediate assistance to contain the outbreak.

He said the World Bank Group would also step up social safety net assistance for affected communities and families and help to build up public health systems in West Africa to strengthen the region s disease control capacity more generally. Kim said he would brief the Bank Group s Board of Executive Directors as soon as possible on the latest state of the epidemic and seek their approval for the new emergency package.

As per to him, I am very worried that many more lives are at risk unless we can stop this Ebola epidemic in its tracks, Kim said. I have been monitoring its deadly impact around the clock and am deeply saddened at how it has ravaged health workers, families and communities, disrupted normal life, and has led to a breakdown of already weak health systems in the three countries.

Kim added that "the international community needs to act fast to contain and stop this Ebola outbreak. I believe this new World Bank emergency funding will provide critically needed support for the response to stop the further transmission of Ebola within Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which would prevent new infections in neighboring at-risk countries.

Kim said that the new financial pledge would pay for urgently needed medical supplies, salaries for medical staff, and other vital materials to stabilize the health system, while also helping communities cope with financial hardship caused by the epidemic. The new Bank Group package will also help to build up the region s disease surveillance and laboratory networks to guard against future epidemic outbreaks.

He said WHO leadership was vital to international and regional efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, which is West Africa s first-ever outbreak of Ebola virus disease but has become the largest ever in the nearly four-decade history of this disease. The World Bank Group he said would work in close coordination with the WHO and other partners such as ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States. The WHO has now set up an Ebola response center in Conakry.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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