The World Bank has provided US$105 million as an emergency funding to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. At the signing ceremony of the Ebola Emergency Response Project in Monrovia on Thursday, September 25, on behalf of Country Manager, Inguna Dobraja, the Bank was fully represented by its senior Country Economist, Timothy Bulman.
Mr. Bulman said Liberia is the highly hit Ebola country, receives US$ 5million of its funding for the next six months, which is the highest amount of money from the Bank to fight the killer virus. The project took effect on September 19, 2014.
According to a press release, the Senior Country Economist said it was a great honor for the World Bank to participate in the historic ceremony, which will facilitate the scaling up of response efforts against the Ebola epidemic in Liberia. He said that it is indeed significant due to the consolidation of resources, technical expertise and other response efforts in battling the epidemic.
The release said the ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Health and Social Welfare, and Agriculture of Liberia collaborated as a team to convene development partners to develop an investment plan for the World Bank funds.
The investment plan addresses the country’s direct priorities, including support to Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs), revitalization of essential health services, risk allowances to Ebola workers and health workers under high-risk environment, surveillance and social mobilization, as well as food and water supply to quarantined and Ebola-affected households.
Liberia has contracted part of the implementation of the investment plan to UN Agencies with specific technical and operational strengths. Speaking to the World Bank President Jim YongKim on September 24, 2014, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf stressed that the key bottleneck to the country’s Ebola response is the “human infrastructure.”
“The World Bank funds will also support to build the human infrastructure through the provision of hazard pay, death benefit to families of health workers who died of Ebola, and training of clinical and non-clinical staff”, the Liberian leader said.
Senior Country Economist Bulman then assured that the World Bank will continue to stand by the Government and people of Liberia, especially during this difficult period of the country’s existence – fighting the Ebola epidemic.