Leaders Discuss Ebola Strategy in Washington

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As the Ebola death toll continues to rise and fear over the epidemic grows, African Development Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka offered assurances to the international community Thursday morning in Washington, DC. "We can deal with it. We can resolve this matter and the African Development Bank will play its part."

The President also called for caution as he addressed world leaders in finance, politics and health at a high-level strategy meeting held at the International Monetary Fund to help fight the disease.

"Let’s be careful with doomsday narratives. Each number, each projection must bear in mind private sectors and investment will be listening. The narrative getting out of this room must be one which says we can overcome Ebola."

With the AfDB already contributing more than $200 million, Kaberuka called for more support for African health care professionals, and even greater financial contributions from nations involved in the fight. "We should not take money from education, infrastructure and other resources. I know it is tough."

As the UN Secretary General called for 20 times more international aid, the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, echoed the need for continued support. "Sierra Leone needs help from people at this table. This is not a disease we brought in ourselves. Ebola is now causing great destruction to mining, agriculture, state security and poverty reduction. Let's combat this evil virus."

The economic impact to countries is an issue Kaberuka focused on saying, "We must provide macro-economic support" as we "deal with the epidemic to stop Ebola spreading to other regions."

Also attending the strategy meeting were IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.