• Reuters

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The International Monetary Fund is preparing around $150 million in additional support to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic, the IMF’s representative in Liberia said Thursday.

The money could be made available in the first quarter of this year and would add to $130 million disbursed by the fund in September.

The epidemic has damaged the economies of the three West African states, two of which, Liberia and Sierra Leone, are recovering from civil wars.

The aid follows a decision by Group of 20 leaders in Australia in November to support countries hit by Ebola through reform of the Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief Trust.

The trust was set up after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 to enable the IMF to join debt relief efforts for very poor countries hit by natural disasters.

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