NAN – World Bank’s Ghana country office disclosed that Jim Kim, President of the World Bank Group, was expected to arrive Accra on Thursday for a working visit.
A statement from the office on Wednesday in Accra stated that during the visit, Kim was expected to hold talks with Ghana’s Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and other state officials.
It said that Kim would reaffirm the World Bank Group’s commitment to fighting the Ebola epidemic and share the modalities on how the bank would continue to work closely with partners to assist the affected countries.
It said that he would also meet with officials of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response to discuss the Ebola epidemic and its debilitating impact on the three most heavily affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and on the West African sub-region as a whole.
The release noted that the bank had so far mobilised a $400m financing package to help the three countries to contain the spread of infections, communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and to improve public health systems.
It said that a major obstacle to containing and stopping the epidemic was the lack of massive, rapid and coordinated deployment of health workers, especially foreign medical teams.”
It therefore called for a massively scaled and coordinated international response with qualified, high-caliber foreign medical teams to set up and maintain effective Ebola treatment centers and other health facilities to support affected countries.
The bank said such response would help stabilise the situation, and help prevent the further spread of Ebola as well as assist in reactivating the provision of essential health services for non-Ebola conditions.
A recent World Bank Group report noted that: “The Economic Impact of the 2014, Ebola Epidemic, short and medium term estimates for West Africa cautioned, if the virus continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries and spreads to neighbouring countries, the two-year regional financial impact could reach $32.6bn by the end of 2015.”
Such a situation, it feared, would deal a potentially catastrophic blow to already fragile states.