World Bank Prez Arrives in Liberia Today
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The World Bank President World Bank Prez Arrives in Liberia Today Mon, 12/01/2014
Reassures Commitment to Ebola Response By: George D. Kennedy
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is expected to arrive in Liberia today to further strengthen the Bank’s continuing response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Dr. Kim, a strong advocate for the global fight against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, will meet President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and senior officials of the Liberian Government.
He will be expected to reassure the government and people of Liberia of the Bank’s commitment to assist Liberia to achieve zero Ebola virus transmission. Dr. Kim, who is also a public health expert, will visit the Ebola Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in Monrovia and meet with the Incident Management System representatives, donor partners involved in the Ebola response, health workers, EVD survivors, contact tracers and burial team members. He will also hold a press conference today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The World Bank Group is mobilizing nearly US$1 billion in financing for the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis. A total of US$518 million has been disbursed for the emergency response. The funding is helping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone provide treatment and care, contain and prevent the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems, a statement from the World Bank said Monday.
Additional financing of a US$285 million grant was approved by the World Bank Group’s Board on November 18, 2014, with a US$115 million allocation for Liberia.
This money, the Bank observed, will help scale-up community-based care and support for faster identification, triage and care of Ebola patients, enable a surge of international health workers, laboratory services, and essential supplies, and restart basic health services.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is also providing commercial financing to enable trade, investment and employment in the three most affected countries, including Liberia. The financing includes a rapid response program which is helping to ensure continued operations of business and supplies of essential goods and services.
Majority of the World Bank Group’s financing to the worst affected countries in West Africa is coming through the Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), which was established in 1960 to help the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.
IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa.
Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people living on less than US$2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.