Internet Radio

World Bank earmarks additional $100 mn to fight Ebola

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim tours a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, discussing preparations and readiness for Ebola. So far, Kenya has had no Ebola cases. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

Washington, Oct 30 (EFE).- The World Bank announced Thursday that it will provide an additional $100 million to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and to facilitate the deployment of foreign health professionals in the worst-affected countries.

Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone account for the bulk of the 4,922 deaths blamed on the Ebola epidemic that began in March.

“The world’s response to the Ebola crisis has increased significantly in recent weeks, but we still have a huge gap in getting enough trained health workers to the areas with the highest infection rates,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

Thursday’s announcement brings to $500 million the amount set aside by the World Bank for the fight against Ebola, the largest contribution from a multilateral institution.

“We must urgently find ways to break any barriers to the deployment of more health workers. It is our hope that this $100 million can help be a catalyst for a rapid surge of health workers to the communities in dire need,” Kim said.

The resources will go toward setting up a center to coordinate activities with the three affected countries, the World Health Organization, and the U.N agency in Ghana charged with recruiting, training and deployment of health care workers, the Bank said.

West African countries have renewed their pleas for assistance to strengthen local capacities and allow governments to resume providing basic health services not related to Ebola.