World Bank boss affirms support for Ebola fight

Jim Yong Kim

President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim is expected to arrive here on Thursday for a working visit, a release received here late Tuesday said.

Jim Yong Kim

While here, Kim is expected to hold talks with Ghana’s Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and other state officials.

“Kim will reaffirm the World Bank Group’s commitment to fighting the Ebola epidemic and will share the latest news on how the World Bank Group will continue to work closely with partners to assist the affected countries,” the release issued by the World Bank’s Ghana country office disclosed.

In addition, he will meet with officials of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to discuss the Ebola epidemic and its debilitating impact on the three most heavily affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – and on the West African sub-region as a whole.

The World Bank Group has so far mobilized a 400 million U.S. dollars financing package to help the three countries to contain the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and to improve public health systems.

The release indicated, “A major obstacle to containing and stopping the epidemic is the lack of massive, rapid and coordinated deployment of health workers, especially foreign medical teams.”

It therefore called for a massively scaled and coordinated international response with qualified, high-caliber foreign medical teams to set up and maintain effective Ebola treatment centers and other health facilities to support affected countries.

This kind of response, the World Bank believes, would help stabilize the situation, and help prevent the further spread of Ebola, as well as assist in reactivating the provision of essential health services for non-Ebola conditions.

A recent World Bank Group report, The Economic Impact of the 2014, “Ebola Epidemic: Short and Medium Term Estimates for West Africa” cautioned, “If the virus continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries and spreads to neighboring countries, the two-year regional financial impact could reach 32.6 billion dollars by the end of 2015.”

Such a situation, it feared, would deal a potentially catastrophic blow to already fragile states.

Source: (Xinhua)

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