Via Thomson Reuters:Development banks, U.S. up support for Ebola-hit countries. Excerpt:
International development banks on Monday committed $260 million in emergency loans for three West African countries hit by the deadly Ebola virus as nearly 50 African leaders gathered in Washington for a U.S.-hosted summit focusing on the region.
The World Bank said it would provide as much as $200 million in emergency funding to help Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
"I am very worried that many more lives are at risk unless we can stop this Ebola epidemic in its tracks," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. "The international community needs to act fast to contain and stop this Ebola outbreak," he added.
African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka told Reuters that his bank would immediately disburse funds to the three countries, whose health systems and resources have been strained by the outbreak. The worst outbreak of Ebola ever has killed nearly 900 people since it began in February.
Bank officials said the funding was close to $60 million.
"These countries need structural support to build up their health systems" still recovering from years of conflict, Kaberuka said. "We have the science, we have the ability, and the means to contain this thing. I am confident of that," he said.
The funding is in response to a $100 million plan launched by the World Health Organization last week to tackle the epidemic. WHO chief Margaret Chan said on Friday that Ebola was outpacing efforts to contain it and warned of "catastrophic" consequences if the situation deteriorated.
The United States will also provide more help to the affected countries and to international agencies responding to the outbreak, providing equipment and technical expertise, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday.