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World Bank deploys $300 million more to Congo to contain Ebola outbreak

AFP-JIJI

The World Bank announced Wednesday it was deploying another $300 million in crisis aid for DR Congo to help contain the Ebola outbreak.

The grants and credits come after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the current outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the World Bank said in a statement.

The funds will be added to the $100 million the bank provided after Ebola appeared in August 2018.

“Together, we must take urgent action to stop the deadly Ebola epidemic that is destroying lives and livelihoods in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.

“The communities and health workers on the front line of this outbreak urgently need more support and resources from the international community to prevent this crisis from worsening inside the country and from spreading across borders.”

Since August last year, Ebola has killed more than 1,700 of the 2,500 people infected in DR Congo in the second-biggest epidemic since more than 11,300 people died between 2014 and 2016 in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

DR Congo’s health minister Oly Ilunga resigned on Monday in a dispute with President Felix Tshisekedi over the government’s Ebola response and plans to introduce a second vaccine.

The new crisis response aid will go towards the areas of the country impacted by the outbreak, the bank said.

It will also enable the government, WHO, UNICEF and other responders “to step up the frontline health response, deliver cash-for-work programs to support the local economy, strengthen resilience in the affected communities, and contain the spread of this deadly virus,” according to the statement.

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