The African Union (AU) has teamed up with the African Development Bank and other regional business leaders to flag off a $28 million Ebola crisis fund.
AU stated that the crisis meeting in Addis Ababa saw African business leaders generously commit close to $30 million towards combating the epidemic. The meeting was attended by political and business leaders from different economic sectors. This confirms that the epidemic, considered the worst of all outbreaks till date, has affected not only rural dwellers but economic activities across West Africa.
“They agreed to establish a fund under the countenance 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,” the AU said in a statement.
Funds generated would be used to support an African medical corps. It will include a group of doctors, nurses and lab technicians. It will also cater to those infected with Ebola, improve local health services and staff Ebola treatment centres in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“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.
In reaction to this, corporate organisations have also pledged “logistical support” and “in kind contributions” to help the alleviation effort. More pledges are expected in the coming days.
By Felicia Ochelle