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OIC-IDB Announces Urgent Assistance for Controlling Ebola Virus

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(Jeddah-AlummahWorld, Muharram 13, 1436, 06 Nov 2014) The joint conference organized by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on Wednesday, 5 November 2014, at the OIC Headquarters in Jeddah announced an urgent financial assistance to countries affected by Ebola epidemic. In addition to the financial pledges, the assistance also included material resources, equipment and supplies, as well as trained heath workers and associated work force.

The financial facility announced by the IDB for Guinea amounts to US$45 million. It consists of two agreements for US$10 million to fight poverty, and US$34 million to support health programs, including US$6 million to fight Ebola. The two agreements were signed on the sidelines of the Conference by H.E. Amhad Mohamed Ali, President of the IDB, and H.E. Ambassador Mohamed Shareef, Ambassador of Guinea to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The IDB announced at the Conference a package of assistance including a grant amounting to US$10 million as seed money for mobilization of additional resources from NGOs and philanthropists to support efforts to fight EVD. The Saudi Fund for Development contributed the amount of US$30 million for Donka Hospital in Guinea.

Many of the organizations, institutions and individuals who attended the Conference expressed their readiness to provide financial and technical assistance to advance the health systems and structures in the affected countries.

The Conference reiterated the need for effective, coordinated and speedy response to the EVD epidemic. It also noted the necessity of community mobilization, creating public awareness and educating people in dealing with situations resulting from this epidemic.

The conference, which was chaired by the Deputy Health Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Dr. Mansour Nasser Alhowasi, was attended by a large number of philanthropist organizations and individuals, NGOs and representatives of World Health Organization (WHO) and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

In addition to high-level delegations from the two EVD-affected states, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the minister of health of Turkey and Uganda, the Deputy Minister of Health of Malaysia, advisors to the health ministers of Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, and high-level delegations from OIC member states also participated in the Conference. Representatives of the Office of the US President’s Special Envoy to the OIC and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) were also in attendance.

In their welcoming remarks at the opening session of the Conference, the Secretary General of the OIC, Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani and the President of IDB, Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, conveyed their sympathy with and support for the peoples and governments of the affected countries and recounted the efforts exerted by the OIC and the IDB since the start of the EVD outbreak earlier this year.

As a part of OIC’s efforts to mobilize support for Ebola-affected countries, a meeting of OIC member states was held in Geneva on 29 September 2014. The meeting was chaired by the honourable Minister of Health of Indonesia, and attended by the WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan. The Resource Mobilization Conference in Jeddah was held as a follow-up to the Geneva meeting.

The assistance package announced during the Conference is in line with the priorities and objectives outlined in the WHO Ebola response roadmap, and takes into account the latest assessment of the situation provided during the meeting by representatives of the affected countries, WHO, MSF and other organizations and NGOs, which have been actively involved on the ground in the fight against EVD.

The participants in the Conference appreciated the OIC and IDB for their timely initiative and expressed the hope that the assistance package put together would meaningfully and effectively contribute to the international effort to control Ebola Virus Disease.