Ebola conference ends with US$5 bn in pledges for affected countries

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Dr David Nabarro, UN Envoy on Ebola. UN Photo/Yubi Hoffmann

A high-level conference at the United Nations ended on Friday with more than US$5 billion in pledges to support the three African countries battling Ebola.

The funds and commitments will help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone implement recovery programmes over the next two years.

Dianne Penn reports.

Although most of the affected region is free of the Ebola virus disease, experts at the conference warned about the need for continued vigilance.

The Ebola outbreak had eroded progress on peace and development, and disrupted health and social services, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dr David Nabarro is the UN Special Envoy on Ebola.

He described the conference outcome as "encouraging."

"The amounts pledged, more than $5 billion, represent a really fantastic springboard for the recovery effort. Everybody at the meeting today has stressed that the partnership that we've had for the response to the outbreak must be sustained into recovery. We've had a real commitment to accountability from all concerned. We have businesses and non-governmental organizations who don't have cash to pledge but who promised that they are going to sustain their efforts. And we have a real sense  as we finish today's meeting that yes, it's been a terrible tragedy, the Ebola outbreak, and there's still work to be done to finish it, but the world  is going to stick with these countries as they recover and get back onto the track to equitable, social and economic development."

The current Ebola outbreak began in March 2014.

As of this May, there have been more than 11,000 deaths and nearly 30,000 infections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said it is the largest and most complex outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered four decades ago.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’53″

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