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EU pledges 450 mn euros for Ebola recovery in west Africa

The EU on Friday pledged 450 million euros to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierre Leone recover from Ebola after the deadly disease killed thousands in the three West African countries hardest hit.

Brussels: The EU on Friday pledged 450 million euros to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierre Leone recover from Ebola after the deadly disease killed thousands in the three West African countries hardest hit.

The EU said it will formally make its pledge, amounting to around $500 million, at a UN conference in New York on Friday where the presidents of the three countries will seek a total of $3.2 billion for recovery efforts.

Sierra Leone will receive some 171 million euros, Liberia 121 million euros and Guinea 149 million euros, with another eight million euros given to all countries affected by Ebola, according to the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU.

"The emergency is not over until we are down to zero Ebola cases," EU aid commissioner Christos Stylianides said in a statement.

"With some new cases in Liberia we remain on high alert and our determination to eradicate Ebola is stronger than ever. Now is not the time to pull back," said the commissioner.

More than 11,200 people have died in West Africa from the world`s worst outbreak of the virus, with a few new cases reported in Liberia last month after the country had been declared Ebola-free.

New infections in Sierra Leone and Guinea have fallen dramatically, suggesting the epidemic is largely under control.

The EU money is earmarked for healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, education, sanitation, macro-economic stability and transport, the Commission said.

It said the 28-nation European Union has so far put up 1.8 billion euros to fight Ebola.

Guinea`s leader Alpha Conde, Liberia`s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone will be seeking $3.2 billion to "cover the most essential needs" for their health and education systems and the economy, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

A separate regional plan requiring $4.0 billion will also be presented to the UN conference.

From Zee News

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