Heads of AfDB, AU and ECA in Guinea to show support for country’s fight against Ebola

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“It is good for us to pledge financial aid in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, but it is even better to come here to discover the reality of the situation on the ground.” These are the words Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), used to describe his visit to Guinea on Friday, October 24, 2014. Kaberuka arrived at Conakry in the early afternoon accompanied by Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chair of the African Union (AU) Commission, and Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

The joint visit involved meetings with Guinean authorities, including Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, development partners, and the directors of the Coordination Center in the fight against the epidemic. 

It was a chance for Kaberuka to remind his hosts of the US $52 million in aid that the AfDB has pledged to Guinea: $32 million for budgetary support and $20 million for technical assistance. He also reaffirmed the Bank’s desire to provide the support that affected countries need in order to contain the epidemic.

Kaberuka expressed his thoughts on the visit, saying that he was pleased to be in Guinea to discover the realities of the situation on the ground, which is nothing like the hysteria that is often associated with the epidemic. He witnessed the commitment of the authorities and populations who have a very good understanding of the situation.

“I am pleased to have made this visit, which follows on those I made recently to Sierra Leone and Liberia. There is considerable mobilization, not only by the Government, but also by civil society and community groups. There are hygiene facilities at the entrances of buildings, so that people can wash their hands regularly with suitable products. Temperatures are always checked. This must be pursued relentlessly, and cases of the disease must be reported without fear and without stigmatization. It is also important to raise awareness, especially in isolated rural areas. Our practices and cultures must not be an obstacle to our health or to progress on the African continent,” Kaberuka stated.