African Development Bank to launch further Ebola crisis response projects, this time with the AU and ECOWAS
- Deploying health workers from across Africa to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia
- Incentivising local health workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia
- Training local health ‘extension’ and community workers
- Working with the private sector
The African Development Bank launched a mission to Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ethiopia on Thursday, October 16 to set up further projects in its support package for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three countries most affected by the Ebola Virus Disease.
The Bank has committed some US $220 million so far to the fight against Ebola, which has been channeled through the World Health Organization and through the governments of the three countries, as well as Côte d’Ivoire.
Within this commitment is a $7.7 million ‘Crisis Response Technical Assistance Project’, which was approved by the Bank’s Board of Directors on October 1. It will be carried out in association with the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. To launch the project, the Bank expects to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS in Abuja on October 23, and with the AU in Addis Ababa on November 3.
The new project will:
- deploy some 85 health workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, coming from across Africa and the diaspora. A number of countries – including Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Malawi – have expressed their interest in sending medical personnel to join the programme.
- support a motivational/incentivized scheme designed to supplement the salaries of over 2,000 health workers in the three countries;
- train about 500 local health ‘extension’ and community workers to ensure that medical and other advice reaches further and wider in the three countries;
- raise public awareness about ways to prevent and combat the virus; and
- deepen the cooperation with the private sector – both national and international – in the fight against Ebola.
Mission leader Sibry Tapsoba, the Director of the Bank’s Transition and Support Department, said Thursday, “Full details of the projects will be announced alongside our partners in the coming days. The projects are part of a concerted effort as the continent of Africa, and the world at large, stands with the region of West Africa in doing all in its collective power to combat the Ebola Virus Disease. The African Development Bank is at the forefront of this endeavour. Our focus is on strengthening the health systems of the countries concerned, to ensure better capacity to deal with the virus. The same capacity will serve the countries and the region in the event of future crises.”