World Bank set to give three African coun­tries US$650 mil.

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY HARRY DUN­PHY

The World Bank an­nounced Fri­day that it will give three West African coun­tries at least US$650 mil­lion over the next 12 to 18 months to help them re­cover from the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of Ebola.

The do­na­tion, brings the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s to­tal fi­nanc­ing for Ebola re­sponse and re­cov­ery to US$1.62 bil­lion, is part of a broader ef­fort to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone erad­i­cate the dis­ease and re­cover from its dev­as­ta­tion.

Bank Pres­i­dent Jim Yong Kim an­nounced the new fund­ing at a meet­ing with U.N. Sec­re­taryGen­eral Ban Ki-moon, Guinean Pres­i­dent Al­pha Conde, Liberian Pres­i­dent Ellen John­son Sir­leaf and Sierra Leonean Pres­i­dent Ernest Bai Koroma, who pre­sented their Ebola re­cov­ery plans to global devel­op­ment lead­ers.

The U.N. chief said he would con­vene a pledg­ing con­fer­ence in July to help pro­vide the funds th­ese coun­tries need to pay for the re­cov­ery. The World Bank es­ti­mates GDP losses from Ebola to­tal­ing US$240 mil­lion for Liberia, US$535 mil­lion for Guinea and US$1.4 bil­lion for Sierra Leone.

John­son Sir­leaf, speak­ing for her fel­low pres­i­dents, said they hope to ob­tain up to US$8 bil­lion for a re­cov­ery fund for projects the three coun­tries have de­vel­oped to­gether. She said the three lead­ers were en­cour­aged by what they heard at the meet­ing.

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