Ebola-hit countries appeal for $3.2 billion to rebuild

first_imgHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Ebola-hit countries appeal for $3.2 billion to rebuild by: Associated Press – July 11, 2015 Share Share Tweet Sharing is caring!center_img Share 53 Views   no discussions UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The presidents of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone appealed for $3.2 billion Friday to help their countries recover from the Ebola epidemic which has devastated their economies, severely damaged the social fabric of their nations and killed more than 11,000 people.Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, speaking on behalf of the three countries, told a high-level UN conference that international support will give millions of people a chance to rebuild their lives and promote regional stability and world trade.“The world as a whole has a great stake in how we together respond to this global threat,” she said, adding that “virus diseases, just like terrorism, know no national boundaries.”The first five pledges to finance the national plans of the three countries totaled more than $1.5 billion — $340 from Britain, $495 million from the European Union, $360 million from the Islamic Development Bank, $266 million from the United States and $80 million from Japan.Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma said making the plans work “has the urgency of a life and death situation for over 20 million people in our countries.”Guinea’s President Alpha Conde stressed the need for “a Marshall Plan” that includes writing off the international debts of the three countries, a reference to the US program to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II.In addition to the $3.2 billion needed for the countries’ national plans, Sirleaf said another $4 billion will be needed to finance a regional recovery plan.Dr David Nabarro, the UN special envoy on Ebola, told the meeting that “the end of the outbreak is tantalisingly in sight,” with about 30 new infections a week in the three countries and intense detective work under way to trace the chains of transmission.He told reporters Thursday that there are fewer than six transmission chains in each country, far less than two months ago.But he said the virus is surviving in some people longer than the 21 days of quarantine — including for months in the prostate gland, the eye and fetus — which makes keeping track of those who have been exposed critical.Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, speaking as chair of the African Union, said the meeting was “a clarion call to the international collective to up-scale its preparedness and capacity to handle and manage disasters, particularly health epidemics.”World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, speaking by video conference, pledged to create “a pandemic response team” to respond to pandemics in every country.last_img

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