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Ebola: AfDB Donates $210m to Nigeria, Liberia, Others

Ebola: AfDB donates $210m to Nigeria, Liberia, others

The African Development Bank Group has announced a grant of $60m to Nigeria and three other West African countries to fight the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.

President of the bank, Donald Kaberuka, and the World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Sambo, on Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding sealing the $60m bank grant to strengthen West Africa’s public health systems in response to the Ebola crisis.

In a statement posted on the bank’s website on Wednesday, the AfDB said the funds, to be implemented by the WHO, would be used to help recruit and train health workers, purchase equipment and medicine, and ensure that the necessary logistics are in place at the local level to provide emergency health services to Ebola patients.

As of Monday, 2,615 cases of Ebola had been recorded since March, resulting in 1,427 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

“The Ebola crisis has shown the weakness of our health systems. When we have vanquished Ebola, there will be other challenges, and we must be better prepared. This concerns us all: Ebola has no passport; it respects no borders,” Kaberuka said.

According to the AfDB president, the outbreak is a dynamic epidemic and that the bank will spend a further sum of $150 million to fight the EVD.

He said, “This is why – on top of this work with the WHO – the AfDB will invest an additional $150 million to assist its regional member governments through budget support operations in order to pay health workers, equip health centres, and create jobs. In the long term we want to tackle the root causes of the epidemic and strengthen health systems in Africa, because it threatens the economic situation of countries.

“According to recent estimates, these countries may lose 1.5% of GDP due to this epidemic. Even if the WHO has not imposed any travel restrictions, private airlines have banned international travel to and from the affected countries, impacting tourism and trade.”

Speaking on the signed MoU, the WHO regional director for Africa described the virus outbreak as a bitter reminder to Nigerian and other African governments to improve on their public health system.

Sambo said, “The ongoing Ebola Virus Disease outbreak is a bitter reminder to all African Governments and partners on the need to strengthen health infrastructure capacities in order to cope with disasters and epidemics. This MoU will cover the immediate response needs as well as help to strengthen the health systems capacity

“Since April, the AfDB has disbursed $3 million to support regional Ebola response efforts. It has also made four emergency assistance grants of $ 1 million each to the governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.”

Source: Punch

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