World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has issued a statement calling for support to Ebola survivors following World Health Organization’s declaration that Guinea is free of the virus
In his statement, President Kim described the declaration of Guinea as a “Milestone,” noting that they have showed remarkable determination fighting Ebola since the first case emerged in rural Guinea two years ago.
“My colleagues and I at the World Bank Group congratulate the government and people of Guinea on reaching this important milestone,” Kim said.
The first case of Ebola was reported in Guinea in 2014 and later it surfaced in Liberia in March of the same year. As the virus began spreading due to ignorance in handling it, it extended to Sierra Leone.
Though there had been outbreaks on two occasions, Liberia was the first to be declared free in 2015 followed by Sierra Leone and now Guinea.
The World Bank President, in his statement, cautioned that there is a need to be vigilant and keep the virus at zero case as the devastation has caused serious consequences on the economies and social lives of people of the three countries.
“Still, we must remain vigilant to stay at zero cases, and continue to support Guinea as it contends with the enormous human and economic costs of Ebola. We must remain committed to support survivors and everyone affected by the virus, while also remembering the thousands of Guineans and heroic health workers who lost their lives.
“The World Bank Group is committed to supporting Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as they work to bring this deadly epidemic to an end, rebuild their economies and strengthen their health systems. We will do everything we can to help these countries and the world prevent another deadly pandemic,” he added.
The World Bank Group has mobilized US$1.62 billion in financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts. This total includes US$1.17 billion from IDA, the World Bank Group’s fund for the poorest countries, and at least US$450 million from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to enable trade, investment and employment.
WHO up to December 27 recorded 11,315 Ebola deaths in the three affected countries of which Liberia alone accounts for over 4,000.Declaration of Guinea free of the virus is a significant milestone on grounds that cross border trade exists among the three countries, and one affected by the virus means it is highly probable that it will spread in the two other countries that are already declared free.