The African Development Bank has provided a grant of US$11.4 Million to the Government of Liberia in support of its current fight against the deadly Ebola virus.
Deputy Health Minister for Preventive Services, Tolbert Nyenswah, has described the bank’s gesture as timely. Minister Nyenswah said portion of the money will be used to construct community care centers in Ebola hit communities around the country.
He noted that there have been some improvements in combating the virus since international partners like the African Development Bank, World Bank, and IMF begun providing financial aid to Liberia. Signing for the grant on behalf of the Liberian government, Finance Minister Amara Konneh, thanked the bank for the money.
He noted that money has already been disbursed and is in use. The Finance boss noted that portion of the money will be used to build Ebola treatment centers across Liberia, and disclosed that government is expected to construct 17 Ebola centers.
Signing for the African Development Bank, its Resident Representative, Dr. Margret Kilo, said sources of finance of the Ebola fight by the African Development Bank is from the Special Relief Fund to all four countries fighting the virus: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
She said Nigeria has already defeated the virus, but Guinea and Sierra Leone together with Liberia remain on the battlefront. Dr. Kilo said the bank has allocated $60 million regional public goods to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – through WHO.
”This is much bigger Ebola monies that were signed on 26th August 2014 in Abidjan by Dr. Luis Sambo and President Donald Kaberuka, and have already been disbursed to WHO. It is like the money you pay to the surgeon for very complicated surgery for your brother. WHO is already using some of the funds to pay for the PPEs, and part has been disbursed for health worker incentives” she noted.
She said that US$150 million is expected to be approved by the bank board on 1st October to the three EVD-affected countries to ensure that the economic impact is mitigated through direct budget support.
“This is support you provide when you hear your brother has had surgery but will go through a long convalescence. During their recovery, they will be unable to work to pay for food, utility bills, etc., etc. “
This support from the African Development Bank ensures that Liberia can face the fight against Ebola through all its stages and mitigate the impact on Liberian people in every way”, Dr. Kilo added.