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World Bank President arrives tomorrow

DECEMBER 2, 2014

World Bank Group president, Jim Yong Kim, will arrive in Freetown on Wednesday, December 3 to reaffirm the bank’s continued support to the government’s response to the Ebola crisis, a release from the World Bank office in Freetown states.

Dr. Kim will meet President Ernest Bai Koroma and senior officials of the government, and he and President Koroma will then hold a brief joint press conference at State House.

While in Freetown, the World Bank Group president will reiterate the bank’s commitment to support Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola reconstruction and development needs, including increased focus on strengthening the health care systems, social protection, value-added agriculture and energy projects.

Dr. Kim will visit the “Situation Room” at the National Ebola Response Center (NERC) and the United Nations Mission for the Ebola Emergency Response to get firsthand update on the progress, gaps and challenges in the response effort.

The bank is mobilizing nearly $1 billion in financing for the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis. A total of $518 million has been disbursed for the emergency response. The funding is helping Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone provide treatment and care, contain and prevent the spread of infections, help communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improve public health systems, the release said.

Additional financing of $285 million grant was approved by the bank’s board on November 18 with a $98 million allocation for Sierra Leone. “This money will help scale-up community-based care and support for faster identification, triage and care of Ebola patients, enable a surge of international health workers, laboratory services, essential supplies, and restart basic health services,” it said.

IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is also providing commercial financing to enable trade, investment and employment in the three most affected countries, including Sierra Leone. The financing includes a rapid response program which is helping to ensure continued operations of business and supplies of essential goods and services.