Addis Ababa: Top business leaders in Africa have set up an emergency fund to assist countries hit by the Ebola outbreak, a media report said Saturday.
The initiative is part of a long-term programme to deal with such crisis in the future, BBC quoted African Union Chairman Dlamini Zuma as saying at a pledging meeting held in Ethiopia`s capital Addis Ababa.
To speedily contain the deadly virus that has killed about 5,000 people, the focus will be on Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The initiative has raised $28.5 million to deploy at least 1,000 health workers in these countries.
Strive Masiyiwa, chairman of telecommunications giant Econet Wireless, said the emergency fund will be managed by the African Development Bank.
Of the West African countries hit by the 11-month outbreak, Liberia has seen the most deaths.
But last weekend its health ministry said two-thirds of the 696 beds in the country`s treatment centres were empty.
Despite significant international contributions, the chief of the UN mission charged with fighting Ebola has said that more help is urgently needed.