UN: Ebola conference generates US$5 billion in pledges for affected countries

New York, US (PANA) - A high-level conference at the UN headquarters in New York has ended with more than US$5 billion in pledges to support the three West African countries battling Ebola.

PANA in New York reports on Saturday that, although details of the contributions were not made available to UN reporters, the funds and commitments would help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone implement recovery programmes over the next two years.

Although most of the affected region is free of the Ebola virus disease, experts at the conference warned about the need for continued vigilance.

UN and officials of affected countries noted that the Ebola outbreak had eroded progress on peace and development, and disrupted health and social services.

Dr. David Nabarro, who is the UN Special Envoy on Ebola described the conference outcome as "encouraging", saying: "The amounts pledged, more than US$5 billion, represent a really fantastic springboard for the recovery effort."

He added: "Everybody at the meeting on Friday has stressed that the partnership that we have had for the response to the outbreak must be sustained into recovery, and we have had a real commitment to accountability from all concerned.

"We have businesses and non-governmental organizations who do not have cash to pledge but who promised that they are going to sustain their efforts, and we have a real sense as we finish Friday's meeting that, yes, it is been a terrible tragedy, which is the Ebola outbreak.

"There is still work to be done to finish it, but the world is going to stick with these countries as they recover and get back onto the track to equitable, social and economic development."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the leaders of the Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone said about US$7 billion was needed for Ebola recovery efforts in the affected countries.

The current Ebola outbreak began in December 2013, and as of this May, there have been more than 11,000 deaths and nearly 30,000 infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is the largest and most complex outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered four decades ago.
-0- PANA AA/MA 11July2015

11 july 2015 19:11:09

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