Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in Sierra Leone, October 15, 2014. 
Photo: Utenriksdepartementet/Astrid Sehl.Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende in Sierra Leone, October 15, 2014. Photo: Utenriksdepartementet/Astrid Sehl

Norway continues to support the fight against Ebola

On the 10th of October foreign minister Børge Brende announced that, Norway pledges nearly NOK 70 million to new World Bank fund to fight Ebola. Further, on October 14th another 75 million NOK was allocated to the fight, bringing the total number to NOK 329 million so far this year.

Norway is the first country to support the World Bank’s new multidonor fund for the fight against Ebola. ‘It is positive that the World Bank is setting up a fund to put the health sector in the affected countries in a better position to deal with the crisis. Norway will contribute nearly NOK 70 million to the fund,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende. Mr Brende took part in a high-level meeting on the Ebola crisis in Washington DC on 9 October, in connection with the World Bank’s annual meeting. The presidents of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, together with the leaders of the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the IMF and the UN made an urgent joint appeal to the international community to make far more funding immediately available for the fight against Ebola in West Africa.

The new fund will support measures such as recruitment of health workers and upgrading of clinics, hospitals and laboratories. It is also intended to revive the many economic activities that have come to a standstill as a result of the crisis. Mr Brende emphasised that the fund must supplement rather than overlap with the work that the UN is already doing, and that it is essential for the World Bank to cooperate closely with WHO and other relevant actors.

As such, on a recent trip to Liberia, the country worst affected by Ebola, the Foreign Minister announced the allocating of a further NOK 50 million to actions under the WHO Ebola response roadmap, which includes expanding treatment capacity, reducing the risk associated with burials, contact tracing, and strengthening the very weak health services in the affected countries.

In addition, Norway is earmarking funding to fast-track research on Ebola concerning the development of vaccines and treatment methods. ‘There is an acute need for a stronger research effort. Norway is allocating NOK 15 million to GLOBVAC, the Global Health and Vaccination Research programme run by the Research Council of Norway, and NOK 10 million to the WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases,’ said Mr Brende. With the addition of these recent pledges, Norway’s support will amount to NOK 329 million in the fight against Ebola.

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