African finance ministers seek increased support to Ebola-stricken countries

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arton806993Ministers of finance from four African countries have called on the international community, including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), to speed up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis.They further urged the international community to support Sub Saharan Africa’s need for improved agriculture, security and increased access to energy and water.

The ministers, from Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Chad and Kenya, spoke during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings African Ministers Press Conference.

“We live in a vulnerable world and we need a quick response and lending facilities to be in place,â€� said Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of The National Treasury Henry Rotich, referring to the Ebola crisis.

Rotich called for the establishment of a Crisis Resources envelope, which he said is currently only available to middle-income countries and not to Africa’s poorest countries.

According to Rotich, Kenya is working with the IMF to secure lending facilities for precautionary support.

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance Kaifala Marah emphasized that the situation in his country and in the sub-region is dire and requires the World Bank and IMF to go beyond their normal practices.

“We have to ensure we win the battle on the human front as well as the economic front,� Marah said.

He stressed that, “We have to get social protection in place to look after vulnerable people, while still remaining competitive as is expected�.

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