World Bank approves $285m in aid for Ebola-hit nations

19 Nov 14
The three countries hardest-hit by the Ebola virus will receive a $285m World Bank grant to them contain the epidemic.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will use the money to deploy additional national and international health workers, scale up community-based care and community engagement for the early detection of suspected Ebola cases, the bank said.

The grant provides extra funding to the Ebola Emergency Response Project, including $72m for Guinea, $115m for Liberia, and $98m for Sierra Leone.

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said: ‘With this additional financing, the World Bank Group is responding to the critical needs identified by the affected countries to step up their fight against Ebola.

‘This deadly outbreak is far from over, and the international community must continue to do everything we can to support these countries until we get to zero cases.’

Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, added that it was important to create health systems that are resilient and which can respond quickly to this kind of crisis.

This means, ‘increasing efficiency, providing incentives to doctors and other health workers fighting the disease, and establishing the right kind of facilities so these countries can respond rapidly to the changing situation on the ground,’ he said.

The Ebola Emergency Response Project will also increase diagnostic capacity in the three west African countries, addressing logistical constraints and increasing laboratory resources for testing to reduce the time in confirming Ebola cases.

Storage and distribution of essential supplies will be boosted and a regional network of public health institutes to monitor the disease will be established.

The bank said: ‘This support will be critical to prevent the spread of the Ebola epidemic to neighbouring countries as well as to develop a timely and effective regional pandemic response in the future.’

The funds approved yesterday will be deployed by the governments of the three countries with the support of United Nations agencies.

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