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Dr. Kim Assures Liberia

World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim says the world community was united with West Africa and Liberia in a concerted global effort to safeguard lives, noting “we are with you and will stand by you.”

He said over many years, the world community “has failed to make [basic health care] accessible to low-income people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. So now thousands of people in these countries are dying because, in the lottery of birth, they were born in the wrong place.”

Dr. Kim made the remarks at a special organized meeting with the Liberia delegation on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings convening in Washington DC, USA.

He said, if much is not done and soon, the infection would continue to spread to other countries and even continents, “as we have seen with the first Ebola case in the United States this past week. This pandemic shows the deadly cost of unequal access to basic services and the consequences of our failure to fix this problem.”

According to him, as a consequence, the ability to boost shared prosperity in West Africa — and potentially the entire continent — may be quickly disappearing. Dr. Kim lamented that the world's response to date has been inadequate, and that it has been painful to see a replay old failures from previous epidemics.

He promised the delegation that the Bank would continue to remain engaged with the affected countries, noting “overall, we have pledged $400 million to support treatment and containment. And we have devoted our considerable analytical resources to show that acting now will save hundreds of millions, if not tens of billions of dollars.”

The meeting comes at a time when Liberia is experiencing the worst ever outbreak of the “Ebola Virus Disease” (EVD), which has claimed many lives, posing further risk of exposure to the larger population and a severe impact on the economy.

Earlier, Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Amara Konneh highlighted government’s current challenge and the gains that have been recorded so far in the fight against Ebola, but warned lot more needed to be done.

He encouraged the Bank and other partners to increase their support to the affected countries, looking beyond the aftermath of the crisis. “We want quality healthcare for our people but even after Ebola, communities devastated by this outbreak will need to rebuild, accelerate economic activity and drive back livelihood.”

He thanked the Bank and other partners for the level of support so far, which he says is boosting government’s Ebola response activities.

Minister Konneh and delegation including the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, Dr. Mills Jones, Dr. Francis Kateh, of the Ministry of Health and Representative Munah Pelham are scheduled to hold series of multilateral and bilateral discussions aimed at rallying support for the government’s “National Ebola Response Strategy.”

With the latest death toll from Ebola now at 3,439 in the three worst-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, a new economic impact assessment from the World Bank Group says that if the epidemic was to significantly infect people in neighboring countries, some of which have much larger economies, the two-year regional financial impact could reach US$32.6 billion by the end of 2015.

In a related development, the Liberian delegation has been working to coordinate efforts amongst Finance Ministers of the three countries with the convening of an emergency session.

Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone Ministers of Finance have all agreed to coordinate their Ebola response mechanism, share information and present a united front.

Latest Press Release

22 October 2019
Press Release

Washington DC, U.S.A - The Government of Liberia has signed two financing agreements for the reconstruction of the Ganta-Tappita highway, and the Konia-Voinjama highway projects.

17 October 2019
Press Release

Monrovia, Liberia - The Government of Liberia has brought up to date the salaries of 15,000 public school teachers with bank account numbers and unique biometric identification numbers issued by the National Identification Registry.

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