World Bank Mobilises $200m Funding to fight ebola epidemic

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worldbankBy SundiataPOST

WASHINGTON – With the latest death toll from the West Africa Ebola epidemic now at 887, the World Group on Monday pledged US $200 million emergency funding to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone contain the spread of Ebola infections, help their communities cope with the impact of the crisis, and public health systems throughout West Africa.

A statement made available to SundiataPOST said the World Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a medical doctor experienced treatment of infectious diseases, said the new financing commitment was 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 Group would also step up social safety net assistance for affected communities and families and help to build up public health systems West Africa to strengthen the region’s disease control capacity generally. Kim said he would brief the Group’s Board of Executive Directors as soon as possible on the latest state of the epidemic and their approval for the new emergency package.

“I am very worried many lives are at risk unless we can this Ebola epidemic in its tracks,” Kim said. ”I have been its deadly impact around the clock and am deeply saddened at how 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: “The international community needs to act fast to contain and this Ebola outbreak. I believe this new World Bank emergency funding will provide critically needed support for the response to the transmission of Ebola within Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which would prevent new infections in neighboring at-risk countries.” [eap_ad_2]

Kim, whose announcement came on the first day of the US-Africa Summit in Washington D.C, said the new financial pledge would pay for urgently needed medical supplies, salaries for medical staff, and other vital 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.

WHO leadership, he said, 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 Community of West African States. The WHO has now up an Ebola response center in Conakry.

“WHO welcomes this support from the World Bank, which comes at a time when concern about the Ebola virus disease is escalating,” said WHO Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan, in Geneva. “The demands created by this unprecedented outbreak outstrip the capacity of affected countries in West Africa to respond. So funding to increase national response capacities is a fundamentally important way to slow transmission and prevent spread to other areas.”[eap_ad_3]