World Bank unveils 160 mln USD grant for Sierra Leone
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim Wednesday announced a grant of 160 million U.S. dollars to support the fight against the Ebola disease in Sierra Leone.
Kim made the announcement in a joint press conference after a closed door meeting with Sierra Lenone president Ernest Bai Koroma at State House.
He further disclosed that the World Bank was also mobilizing further international support to help the country in its fight to get rid of this scourge.
Kim also promised the bank's continued support to Sierra Leone in its post Ebola recovery program with a three-year package that will concentrate among other things on building the basic infrastructure as well as providing support to the energy and agricultural sectors.
He congratulated the Sierra Lenone president for the leadership in the fight against the virus and the people of Sierra Leone for their resilience in the fight against the dreaded disease.
The World Bank president emphasized the need to break the chain of transmission and for all those infected to be identified for which he committed the bank's support to the government.
Koroma said the World Bank president's visit has demonstrated that "Sierra Leone is open and safe" noting that focus should be on "isolating the virus but not the country."
He disclosed that as of today the country can boast of 400 beds with about six laboratories which he said is still not enough to fight the disease.
The country, he said, needs about 2,000 capacity beds as well as more labs to help fast track the testing of blood samples to enhance the quick results.
Koroma also spoke of the need for more contact tracers and surveillance teams to put a stop to the spread of the disease.
The Sierra Leone president commended the support the country is now receiving from the international community so as to address the gaps in the areas of intervention.
The World Bank president visited the Situation Room at the National Ebola Rapid Response Centre and the United Nations Ebola Response Center before continuing on his similar tours to the Ebola ravaged countries in the sub region.