BRISBANE, November 15 (Sputnik) — G20 leaders issued an official statement on the Ebola outbreak Saturday, in which they called on the international community to provide financial assistance to fight against the deadly virus.
"G20 members are committed to do what is necessary to ensure the international effort can extinguish the outbreak and address its medium-term economic and humanitarian costs," said the statement issued by G20 leaders during their summit in Brisbane.
"We invite those governments that have yet to do so to join in providing financial contributions, appropriately qualified and trained medical teams and personnel, medical and protective equipment, and medicines and treatments," the statement said.
Leaders of the world's most powerful economies also called on the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to continue supporting the countries hit by the Ebola epidemic.
“We urge the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to continue their strong support for the affected countries and welcome the IMF’s initiative to make available a further $300 million to stem the Ebola outbreak and ease pressures on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, through a combination of concessional loans, debt relief, and grants,” the G20 leaders said in a statement.
“We ask the IMF and WBG to explore new, flexible mechanisms to address the economic effects of future comparable crises,” the statement said.
G20 members believe that the current Ebola outbreak illustrates the urgency of addressing longer-term systemic issues and gaps in capability, preparedness and response capacity that expose the global economy to the impacts of infectious disease.
The current Ebola epidemic started in southern Guinea in late 2013 and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. Since then, Senegal and Nigeria have been declared free of the virus by the World Health Organization (WHO), with Liberia having recently lifted its state of emergency.
According to WHO estimates as of November 11, a total of 5,177 people have died from the Ebola virus, with the number of confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola cases climbing to almost 14,500.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Although there is no officially approved cure for the disease, several countries, including Russia, are currently working on Ebola vaccines.