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African bank offers Liberia millions to fight Ebola

"I am here as a signal of solidarity with the people of Liberia at the time of these challenges," AfDB President Donald Kaberuka told a press conference after a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "We are working very closely with the government to ensure that Ebola can be eliminated," he added. The AfDB is offering, through the World Health Organization (WHO), $60 million to help fight Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Kaberuka hoped Wednesday that the money would help the three countries eradicate the deadly virus. He said the money would be used to recruit and train health workers as well as buy equipment and medicine. In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has claimed 1429 lives in the three West Africa countries. According to World Health Organization (WHO) figures, Liberia had 624 confirmed, probable or suspected Ebola deaths, as well as 1082 infections, as of 20 August.

The tropical fever, which first appeared in 1976 in Sudan and the DRC, can be transmitted to humans from wild animals.

It also reportedly spreads through contact with the body fluids of infected persons or of those who have died of the disease.

The AfDB has also contributed $15 million in budget support to the Liberian government as the country is currently experiencing serious economic problems because of the Ebola outbreak.

The amount will be made available next month to help the Liberian budget.   

President Sirleaf, for her part, thanked the ADB for the nice gesture and extended thanks and appreciations to the African Union and the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), especially Ivory Cost and Senegal, for their solidarity with Liberia.

"They have all reached out to us, particularly President Alassane Outattara," she told Kaberuka and WHO Regional Director for Africa Luis Gomez Sambo.

"Ships are now moving from Ivory Coast to Liberia," added Sirelaf.

She also thanked Senegal's President Macky Sall. 

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