9th November, 2014
The African Union, African Development Bank and regional business leaders have set up a crisis fund to help areas hit by the Ebola outbreak, the AU said in a statement.
The organisation said a landmark pledging meeting held in the Ethiopian capital on Saturday saw African business leaders offer more than $28 million to help the response to the epidemic.
According to the World Health Organization, 13,268 people had been infected with Ebola across eight countries, and 4,960 of them have died.
“While the global response to the current crisis has increased in recent weeks, there is still a critical need for additional competencies to care for those infected, strengthen local health systems and prevent the disease spreading,” the AU said.
It said the pledging meeting was attended by leaders from the banking, telecommunications, mining, energy, services and manufacturing sectors from across Africa.
“They agreed to establish a fund under the auspices of the African Union Foundation through a facility managed by the African Development Bank, to boost efforts to equip, train and deploy African health workers to fight the epidemic,” it said.
The companies also pledged “logistical support” and “in kind contributions” to help the relief effort, and the AU said it was expecting more pledges in the coming days.
It said the funds would be used to “support an African medical corps — including doctors, nurses and lab technicians — to care for those infected with Ebola, strengthen the capacity of local health services and staff Ebola treatment centres in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.”