African Development Bank Pledges $150 Million to Fight Ebola

The African Development Bank (ADB) announced Tuesday that it is set to bundle $150 million dollars in funds to combat the Ebola virus. The news comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) has tried to solicit funds and resources to fight the spread of the deadly virus, Bloomberg reports.

ADB President Donald Kaberuka, meeting with reporters, said that the countries stricken by Ebola would likely see a 1-to-1.5 percent dip in growth due to the diseases’ effects on the economy.

WHO officials said the African Development Bank money will be in the form of loans and grants to countries in need. The funds will help facilitate a quicker response time and better overall preparedness, according to officials. WHO said that the $150 million is still short of the $430 million needed. Less than a month ago, WHO had suggested only $71 million was needed to help contain the virus, but recent estimates increased the number six-fold.

The WHO road map towards eradicating Ebola stated, “Clearly a massively scaled and coordinated international response is needed to support affected and at-risk countries.”

“The response at the beginning wasn’t robust enough. It’s a step forward that they’ve made the plans and I’m glad they’re emphasizing rapid containment as a start,” said David Heymann, a professor specializing in infectious disease.

The deadly Ebola virus has killed over 1,427 people as of Tuesday. WHO hopes to stop the increase in new cases within the next two months and complete the eradication of transmission in somewhere between six to nine months.