AfDB, ECOWAS partner to curb Ebola
from AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – THE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed a Grant Protocol agreement for US$300 000 towards the coordination of Ebola Crisis Response Project in the region.
According to a statement from the headquarters of the regional bloc in Abuja, the grant comes under the Bank’s multinational crisis response technical assistance project totally US$7,65 million to support the affected countries and two regional institutions, ECOWAS and the Mano River Union (MRU) in addressing the critical gaps in medical human resource capacity, training and provision of incentives to local health workers in order to improve response to the Ebola outbreak.
“The project will also focus on the mobilization of the private sector for holistic response and maximum outcome,” read a statement.
President of the commission, Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, expressed the gratitude of ECOWAS institutions to the President and the Management of the AfDB and other partners for assisting the community combat the Ebola outbreak.
The scourge has claimed more than 4 500 lives.
The ECOWAS official said there was great hope, given the successes recorded by Nigeria and Senegal that had been declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization (WHO).
He said the grant would go a long way in complementing the multi-sectoral regional response and intervention mechanism put in place at the instance of ECOWAS leaders and being coordinated by the Commission and the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the community’s specialized health agency.
He called for greater solidarity, concerted action and coordination, pointing out that while intensifying efforts to defeat the disease, there was the need to eschew actions that could hinder the free movement of people, one of the pillars of the region’s integration project.
The AfDB Country Director, Dr Ousmane Dore, said the accord comes within the Bank’s overall support to countries affected by the Ebola epidemic totaling US$220 million.
“We hope that our collective commitment will help to overcome this scourge and save the African population from the risk of being infected by the Ebola virus disease,” he said.
Dore expressed hope that in a few months from now the Ebola crisis would be eliminated.
– CAJ News
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