DR. KIM: We'll get started. Welcome everyone, to this important meeting on the Ebola Response and Recovery. And we welcome those around the globe who are joining us online. You can join the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #EbolaRecovery, that’s one word, EbolaRecovery.
I'm very honored that we are joined here in Washington by President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; President Condé of Guinea; and President Koroma of Sierra Leone. Thank you, Your Excellencies, for joining us. We are also very honored to have with us, Secretary General of the United Nations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and also our co-host for the meeting, Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund.
As we all know, the Ebola crisis has dealt a crippling blow to the millions of people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. And the epidemic is not over. So the world must not let up on efforts to get to zero Ebola cases in all three countries. For as long as one case of this deadly virus remains, the countries, region and the world will remain at risk.
But today, let's focus on the fact that it has survivors. Around the room on the screen we see some of the faces of these brave women and men. So, even as we focus intently on getting to zero, we must also work together to jumpstart investments in recovery. We must strengthen the health systems and non-Ebola health services, get education back on track, put people back to work, farmers back in their fields, build, rebuild critical and lifesaving infrastructure, and both to communities and community health workers, to serve as the frontline for disease prevention and response. These interventions are also on the critical path to get to and to sustain zero cases. For the delays we only increase the human and financial costs of the recovery.
So today I'm pleased to announce that The World Bank Group will make available a minimum of $650 million for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone over the next 12 to 18 months, to advance recovery and advance longer-term development needs. These funds will come from the International Development Association, or IDA, our fund for the poorest countries, this is in addition to the U.S. $1 billion that The World Bank Group has already committed for Ebola emergency response and early recovery, bringing the total to roughly $1.65 billion.
In line with country's plans, the five priority areas for these additional funds will be health system strengthening, agriculture, education, cash transfers, and other social protection programs, and lifesaving infrastructure such as electricity, water and sanitation and roads. These funds will also be used to help develop a regional disease surveillance system across West Africa to prevent or quickly contain the next potential epidemic.
We've also set up the Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund as a mechanism for donors to provide additional financing for priority recovery needs. And we would like to thank those donors who've contributed so far.
Many of us have been frank about the lessons of Ebola, let's all show that we are learning those lessons, by working together to ensure smart and sustainable recovery, and also making sure that these countries and the world is better prepared for the next pandemic. We owe it to these survivors, the communities and the nations they represent.
In a moment I will ask the three Heads of State to share with us their priority needs for support to end this epidemic, to advance recovery and to build more resilient systems and economies. And then I'll invite the partners at the table to share what you are prepared to do in support of the country's plans.
But first, I would like to invite our special guest, the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon to say a few words. And let me thank our many U.N. Agency Partners in the Ebola response who are here with us today; Margaret Chan of WHO; Tony Lake, of UNICEF, Ertharin Cousin of the World Food Program, I see here; and Helen Clarke of UNDP. We are very grateful for your partnership.
I will then ask Christine Lagarde to make a few remarks, and after her we will as Donald Kaberuka, and then we will hear from the Heads of State. Mr. Secretary General?
MR. BAN KI-MOON: Thank you, Dr. Kim, President of World Bank. The Excellencies of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia; President Ernest Bai Koroma from Sierra Leone; President Alpha Condé, of Guinea; Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the Honorable Ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
The Ebola epidemic remains a pressing challenge. Too many lives have been lost. Families, communities, and nations have been devastated. Yet, over recent months we have seen important progress. The Presidents and Governments of the three affected countries have shown great leadership and resolve. Communities have adopted safe, dignified method of caring for the sick and buyi`ng the dead. And we have seen much (inaudible) at its best. I thank the many governments, local and international NGOs, and in particular the brave doctors and nurses, who are working on the frontlines.
As a result we have seen a significant decline in new Ebola crisis. Liberia has only recorded one case in the past two months; the outbreak has shrunken considerably to a narrow belt all on Coast of Guinea and Sierra Leone. Our marathon effort has been a success, but the last mile may be the most difficult path. We must strengthen the surveillance, contact, tracing and community engagement. And when we reach zero cases, we must maintain our response capacity for at least a year, to avoid having to face such an emergency again.
As you are well aware, I have launched a High-Level Panel on Lessons Learnt, Chaired by President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania. As we look ahead, I call on the international community to support the recovery and peace building of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These efforts must also recognize the fragility of these countries in transition from past conflict and instability to sustainable peace and development. To generate the required resources I'm going to convene a high-level President Conference in July in New York.
We must ensure that women, men, children, have safe and affordable access to clinics, hospitals, and schools, as people need jobs and access to markets. Affected communities are bereft (inaudible) funds and need the support. People's faith in their government's ability to protect and serve them must be reinforced. These are our building blocks to repair the fabric of communities, economies and societies torn apart by this terrible disease. I thank you and look forward to a productive discussion, and your active participation in International Donor Conference, which I'm going to convene in July, in New York. Thank you very much.
MS. LAGARDE: Thank you very much, Jim. I’m very honored to be speaking on behalf of the IMF in the company of Dr. Kim, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. And what I would like to do first is congratulate the three presidents who are with us. The three presidents who are with us today have demonstrated outstanding leadership. I think that addressing the terrible situation that they had to face actually required this outstanding leadership, and they have been more than up to the task. So we should recognize what they have done.
And they’re going to have to do more because after what has just been described brilliantly by Dr. Kim and by Secretary Ban Ki-moon, the next situation is going to be the second shock as we call it because the economies of these three countries have suffered a massive shock as well. So there is the sanitary reconstruction of the countries, but there is also the confidence building that needs to take place now so that the mining operators, the entrepreneurs, the foreign direct investors, actually look at those three countries -- Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea -- as places where it is worth investing, places where it is good to do business, places where it is safe to come back and that’s an enormous task.
The IMF was ready to help very promptly and we put together a global package of about $390 million with cash in the bank very, very promptly. We normally do balance of payment support on this occasion. We did budgetary support, and we provided grant in order to allow for the debt relief, the debt service relief. So we will be ready to continue to support, to provide advice, assistance, to provide additional support if it is needed. And I’m very pleased to report this morning that this repurposed trust that we have called the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust has just been endowed by a donation from the U.K. and Germany in the amount of $72 million, and we are halfway through the fundraising that we have started. So we have a fund that is available to immediately, promptly, put actually cash in the bank in similar circumstances in the future.
With that I would rather yield my time and give it over to the three presidents who can tell us about their countries.
DR. KIM: President Donald Kaberuka of the African Development Bank.
MR. KABERUKA: Thank you, Jim, and thank you, Secretary-General, for getting us together. We have to learn from what happened in our area, all of us, for a long, long time. Today we will be announcing the support you provide, but I think about the support provided and ask questions what went wrong and what are we doing right. What we’re running after a problem, which was easily manageable. And the proof I have it was manageable was that when Ebola went to Senegal, to Mali, and to Nigeria, it was managed with very limited resources. So there are lessons for all of us to learn internationally. And I think as we speak here while supporting these countries, somebody must be thinking about how to fix the international system just once because we don’t know what will be the next epidemic. So that is the first thing I wanted to say.
Number two, it does not matter what we do. The most important thing is what these governments will do and how we help them to ensure that they can perform functions that normal states do vis-à-vis primary health care. So fundamentally what we have to do to support these governments is do the right things.
Now, from what I’ve been told they seem to have put in place very good plans. And so the idea is not for us to have other plans, it is to support their plans and their plans look good. Now, we have put -- the African Bank -- already in these countries close to $20-$50 million through WHO first, $6 million and then directly to the budgets of these governments.
Now I want to join Christine Lagarde in urging that we do something about the debt of these countries. Already after a decade of mayhem and bloodshed in the Mano River they deserve local support, very much so. It is not the time now to relax. We need to provide them this debt relief. It’s not a lot of money and we can afford it. And now as far as the world is concerned, in the next two years will provide an additional $300 million in budget support and program support for the three countries for which we shall add Guinea which is next door with the fragile states also potential victim.
But I want to end by saying that this crisis taught us lessons, which would be a shame if we let a crisis go by without learning from it. What is it that went wrong internationally? What is it that went wrong regionally? And within our countries, surely we will be better prepared for the next crisis. But I want to commend all of you for what you did. The health workers went the Mano River. Many governments’ organizations supported the three countries. And above all the governments and the people that even themselves followed it. So we’re all in together. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much, Donald. I’d like to next turn to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
PRESIDENT SIRLEAF: President Kim, Managing Director Lagarde; Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Boards of Directors of the World Bank and IMF; distinguished Board of Governors; my colleagues, President Conde, President Koroma; ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for the opportunity to share with this important group of world institutional leaders the experiences of our three Ebola-affected nations -- Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone -- and our hopes for economic recovery both as individual Mano River Union nation states and collectively as a sub-region.
Each of our countries faced significant economic challenges in 2014 and continue to do so as a result of sharp decline in global prices of our key exports. With the onslaught of Ebola virus disease, the challenge quickly became a national and sub-national crisis of unprecedented proportions. Our health systems collapsed. Contractors, consultants, and investors left our countries. Farms and markets ceased. Trade and travel contracted. Fiscal balances weakened. Revenue declined. And expenditure increased largely on health operations. Moreover, our economies contracted and projected decline from 4.5 percent to 1.3 percent in Guinea, 11.3 percent to 6 percent in Sierra Leone, and 5.9 percent to 1 percent in Liberia.
As national governments and as sub-region, we took the challenge head on, making difficult decisions that ran contrary to long standing traditions, mobilizing the international community to recognize the disease as a global threat, organizing our best technical professionals to oversee our respective disease management systems, and more importantly, empowering our communities were are determined to protect their lives and their livelihoods.
Today, we take pride in that Ebola cases in each of our countries have declined significantly compared to where we were several months ago. We would like to thank all of you in this meeting and others around the world who stood with us as strong bilateral and multilateral partners in the success that we had the team in this fight. The size, timeliness and innovative nature of your support to our nations and our sub-region have been truly unprecedented and made the difference in the effectiveness of our response. On March 3 in Brussels, we told our European Union partners and others in recognition of a common history, culture and tradition, that signify interdependence of our three countries, we've come together, adopting a regional approach, a common strategy, an original program that will assist us in getting to zero cases-- each of us-- with a focus on invention, infection prevention and containment, social mobilization, community engagement, cross border surveillance, collaboration and coordination.
The impact of Ebola on our economies has been profound. Declines in growth, public revenues, private consumption, investment, employment, agriculture production and productivity. The most important long term response to Ebola therefore, rests in plans and strategies for economic recovery. At an extraordinary meeting of the Mano River Union held in Conakry on the fifteenth of February, 2015, the three countries resolved to take on the more important challenge of economic recovery through the Mono River Union. We have therefore formulated a sub-regional socioeconomic recovery program to ensure that our states return to stability and prosperity. The plan is focused on nine key areas-- health, including sanitation and hygiene, gender, youth development, social protection, agriculture, fisheries, food security, trade and private sector development, infrastructure, roads, energy, water, ICT and finally governance, peace and security, and program management.
Given our relatively small market size and large infrastructure deficit, we are convinced that original approach would achieve the best recovery results. This can only be achieved with your support and that of partners who will be willing to allocate resources to original plan that is homegrown. In this regard, as a matter of urgency, we ask The World Bank in collaboration with the African Development Bank, to work with us to establish a delivery unit within the MRU Secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the plan. There is no time more timely than now to ask you today to endorse and operationalize what we call the Marshall Plan, which requires the commitment of The World Bank President and all of you to ensure that the goals and targets are achieved within the two year period of implementation. There is no doubt that the resources required are significant. We believe however that this can be achieved through existing bilateral and multilateral commitments supplemented by the allocation of additional resources.
It is our wish that this plan would be developed to the use of a basket fund including pool and trust fund mechanisms. Within the context of a Marshall plan, the indicative cost of bringing the sub-region into full recovery is eight billion dollars, of which four billion will be largely focused on building a sub-regional recovery program within a two year period. We ask also that you support the call of the economic admission of Africa and the African Union for relief from the external debt burden of the three countries.
Is this asking too much? We say no, because a strong Mano River Union can be a formidable force for recovery and resilience in the sub-region. A productive, progressive and peaceful Mono River Union which would result from your support, would attract private sector investment and capital in our natural resources thereby ensuring sustainability in our effort and positive impact on regional stability and world trade.
Finally we ask you, our international partners, to join us in developing the detail framework plan for implementation arrangements of the program. As stated in the Mano River Union communique of 15 February, we call on your to renew your commitments to the New Deal, and also our individual countries mutual accountability framework. On our part, we commit to more efficient allocation of our own resources, to a conducive environment for the private sector, to full accountability and to democracy and the rule of law. Most importantly, we ask our partners to consider our request, while recognizing the July 15th conference to make sure that there is some immediate urgency to enable us to get started as we wait for the July conference.
Thank you so much for your continued support and solidarity during these very difficult times. (applause)
DR. KIM: Thank you. President Alpha Condé?
MR. CONDÉ: Mr. President of the World Bank, Managing Director of the IMF, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Mr. Governor.
Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf spoke on behalf of all three of us. We know the efforts you make to support us. We want to increase the budget, especially the health budget, but what is important is that you understand all the consequences of Ebola for our economy.
As she said, we would like to get additional resources independently from what you have already given us, $8 billion in resources, to strengthen the support in the border area between Sierra Leone and Liberia, because obviously Guinea has twice as many inhabitants, and we were able to get to zero cases of Ebola, and we want to strengthen efforts so we can improve the situation in other countries rapidly.
Our sister spoke on behalf of the three of us. We support the program she presented. Ebola is like a war in our countries, and that’s why we would like to call upon you so that you could come up with new funds so that we can face the consequences of Ebola.
We want to thank you for all you have done, but we want to ask you to do more to try to come up with new resources. We feel that the World Bank could be a leader to try to mobilize these funds, because we need these funds immediately. We don’t want to wait until July. We would like to leave here with new hope, and July will help complete what we started here.
Thank you all for all you have done for us, and with what you will be doing. (Applause)
DR. KIM: President Koroma, please.
MR. KOROMA: Mr. President of the World Bank, Managing Director of the IMF, Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations, distinguished Board of Governors, my colleague head of states, ladies and gentlemen, let me start by thanking the World Bank, the IMF, the ADB, the U.N., and all of you around this table for providing us the support in the manner you did that has enabled us to control the Ebola virus disease in our countries.
We are now in a position of confidence, a position in which we can track down the disease, because of the support you have provided us.
I would want to endorse the statement that has been presented on our behalf by Madam Johnson Sirleaf, but I also want to urge that while the situation has improved considerably, we are not yet out of the woods. We still should remain focused on getting to zero.
I would also urge that the partners that are involved in the fight coordinate with us on their draw down plans, because there seems to be some excitement of withdrawal because of the positive results we are experiencing.
The road to zero could be bumpy and it has always been bumpy. We urge that we remain coordinated in our draw down plans.
Secondly, we have to start the road to recovery. As indicated in the presentation, our economies have been badly affected, our social activity is down. It is a long way to recovery. That is why we welcome the proposal.
We know that’s the figures we have pronounced are huge, but if we have to develop a resilient health sector, if we have to get our people back to agricultural activities, get our people to school, address issues of the vulnerable, the orphans, that have resulted from Ebola, the widows, the pregnant girls that are now not in school but we hope to get back to school.
These are issues that require a lot of expertise, a lot of funding, and a lot of support. The timeliness of providing that support is important, especially on agricultural activities.
We welcome the pronouncement of the World Bank. We also welcome the announcement by the Secretary-General, but we do hope we can end up with something we can start with yesterday in terms of our recovery.
While thanking you, let me appeal that the situation on the ground requires your continued action. Let us stay engaged and work with us in our efforts to recovering our countries. Thank you very much. (Applause)
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. We are going to the speakers. We will start with David Nabarro who will give us an update, and then we will go to the three primary partners, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, and everyone else who would like to speak, I hate to do this to you, but please raise your little placard up. We are going to put everyone on a timer. We ask everyone to speak for two minutes, if possible.
The other thing we ask is that you -- I’m sorry. Some of you have figured out how to make them stand up and others have not. (Laughter) That is a test.
We ask everyone to look forward, less on what has happened and more on what you plan to do going into the future. First, let me ask David Nabarro.
DR. NABARRO: Thank you very much, President of the World Bank and to presidents and colleagues. On behalf of the whole of the United Nations’ system and indeed all involved in the response, we would like to start by further tributes to the courage of people, local leaders, government servants, and health workers in all the countries that have been affected by Ebola in the last 18 months - Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Malawi, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and also the other countries that have instituted preparedness measures.
As was said by the presidents, it has been the people themselves that have managed to push back this outbreak.
Colleagues, we are still being tested because as President Koroma reminded us, the outbreak is still proceeding, and we have not yet managed to reach zero. In order to do so, all of us have to redouble our efforts as part of a coordinated support for governments and people, especially in the coming weeks before the rains become fully established.
We cannot turn back and withdraw at this very delicate moment, and again, echoing the words of the presidents, let us all ensure that we seek to end the outbreak within the coming weeks.
The virus and the disease have exposed the fragility of societies and livelihoods everywhere. Early recovery, which we are discussing today, is part of the response, sustaining zero in the coming weeks and months.
In order to ensure that lives and livelihoods are better than before, we in the U.N. system will ensure that all our processes contribute to safe, measurable, accessible, resilient, and trusted services. This is our debt to the people who have suffered so much during this crisis. Thank you. (Applause)
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. We will go next to Sarah Bloom Raskin from the United States.
MS. RASKIN: Thank you, Dr. Kim, and the World Bank for hosting this important meeting to discuss how we can continue the fight against Ebola while supporting economic recovery in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
I, too, want to commend President Condé, President Johnson Sirleaf, and President Koroma for their leadership and the valiant efforts made for their citizens in tackling the Ebola crisis. I also join others in commending
the thousands of partners and healthcare workers from around the world who responded to the call and have been critical to the considerable progress made in containing Ebola since we met in 2014. Let me assure you that we stand with you for the duration, from conquering the Ebola epidemic to building resilient health systems and inclusive economies.
First, we all agree that the immediate priority is to contain the epidemic. Getting to zero and sustaining zero cases will require strengthening health systems overall, not only to keep Ebola at bay but also to grapple with day-to-day healthcare needs and to improve health preparedness.
Second, the global partnership forged to fight Ebola is broad and it's strong. A range of countries, multilateral institutions and humanitarian aid and health partners have united in this common fight. The United States has brought forth a major response with support from Congress deploying more than 3,000 government personnel to West Africa at one point, the largest ever U.S. Government response to a global health crisis.
To date, the U.S. Government has provided $1.4 billion for the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Our goal is to get to zero and maintain it. We are also engaging to help build stronger, more resilient health systems that will be prepared to prevent, detect and respond to future outbreaks before they become epidemics. Resilient health systems are necessary investments. They're like infrastructure to prevent and minimize the effects of future outbreaks.
Our engagement will also deal and address the social and economic recovery with support to revitalize agriculture and improve food security, mobilize private investment, educate and employ youth and provide social protection for the poor and the vulnerable. We should all recognize that the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund have stepped up with tremendous support to address huge health and economic challenges with over $1.6 billion approved or committed.
We also welcome the IMF's catastrophe containment and relief trust that is providing debt service relief of around $96 million to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Finally, as more will be done to get to zero cases, we begin to look forward to economic recovery and addressing the region's pressing developmental challenges.
When we last met here in November, we recognized that the scale of this crisis would extend beyond the direct, tragic human impact of this dreadful disease. The economies have been under tremendous pressure. They have seen sharp reductions in the anticipated growth that they so desperately need to fuel development, invest, social services and ultimately poverty reduction.
Before the Ebola outbreak, these countries had some of Africa's highest growth rates. The decline to economic stagnation has occurred in a very short timeframe with devastating consequences for families, businesses and governments as financing needs spiral. And as we foresaw back in November, these economic impacts have not reversed quickly as confidence and business both take time to restore.
In this effort, I welcome as an important step, the economic recovery plans that the three presidents have presented. Thank you very much.
DR. KIM: Thank you. And Mark, I beg your forgiveness. Minister Brende has to leave and so, I'm going to ask him to speak next, thank you.
MINISTER BRENDE: Thank you, President Kim. I would also like to express my appreciation for the leadership demonstrated by President Sirleaf, Conde and Koroma. I will never forget our meetings in the region in October.
It seems that the worst-case scenarios have been averted but there can be no room for complacency. The outbreak must be brought to a complete end. And that has to be on our agenda today.
We must also address the social and economic consequences of the crisis as outlined by the Presidents. The plans presented here today provide an essential first step on the way to recovery. Norway has so far committed more than $70 million U.S. and more than 90 percent of this is already disbursed and committed. We have also committed 10 million Norwegian kroner the last week on restarting and revamping education and we will do more in the educational field in collaboration with you.
We also allocated now 50 million Norwegian kroner to WHO so we can strengthen the health work in the region. We will look at new requests from our partners. The Ebola outbreak has demonstrated our collective vulnerability. It has also reminded us of the importance of investing in health.
The outbreak has been a terrible tragedy. It will be a greater tragedy still if we fail to learn from our shortcomings and mistakes. We therefore look forward to the outcome of the high level panels work so we will not see this repeated and this will be the start of building strong health infrastructure in developing countries. And this should be reflected both in Addis and when we form the new sustainable development goals in September. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much, Minister. Mark Lowcock of DFID.
MR. LOWCOCK: Thank you very, President Kim, Secretary General and the three heads of government. I'd like to make three quick points. Firstly, when we met here six months ago and the three heads of government joined us on the video conference, the fire was raging. The epidemic was out of control and now, it's under control but the embers continue to glow.
And until we extinguish the embers and get to zero, the threat of this horrible disease will continue to hang over all of us. So we absolutely must, as you've all said, sustain our efforts on getting to zero.
Secondly, at the same time, now is the moment to begin on the early recovery and I greatly welcome the fact that the three governments are working together on shared plans but also that you each have your national plan. And I want to just say a word in respect to the Sierra Leonean plan because we will continue to provide the bulk of our support to Sierra Leone alongside other supporting other countries.
We think, Mr. President, your plan is an excellent plan. We fully subscribe to the four priorities you've set out, health, education, social protection and the private sector. And your plan contains important reforms which need to be taken forward alongside the financing. I hope when you're back in Freetown, you will convene with your international partners, set up the organization arrangements to deliver the plan and call for our help.
And I can tell you today that the U.K., as you know, has committed 430 million pounds to support the overall fight against Ebola principally in Sierra Leone. And of that, 50 million pounds is available for the early recovery.
Thirdly, I want to echo Donald Kaberuka's point about the importance of lesson learning. We've all got lessons to learn from this. The countries themselves, we in the U.K. feel we have lessons to learn but there are also lessons for our shared institutions. We've had to rely on state capabilities, especially military capabilities; in the case of the U.K., thousands of military and civilian personnel coming to work alongside our Sierra Leonean friends. Is that what we want to do next time?
Or do we want to build better capability? It's not just the money. It's the capability and the organizational skills to come and surge and help countries when they have these problems. I hope Secretary General that will be one of the key things you address in your review.
DR. KIM: Thank you, Mark. Annick Girardin from the Development Agency of France?
MS. JIORDAN: Mr. President of the World Bank, Mr. Secretary General, ladies and gentlemen, President, Ministers, colleagues, although our general mobilization today must be congratulated but it's to that Ebola has not been vanquished. Reaching zero cases in the three countries must remain a priority issue.
The mobilization of everyone is necessary and France will participate. Transparency and a possibility of following our aid is an important aspect. Our website indicates all the amounts engaged and paid out by France. When it comes to Guinea, I hope that Ebola will not lead to a certain politicalization (sic).
I think that the combat must have the greatest consensus possible. The impact of this epidemic, well, it was a health crisis but also a world crisis. And there is significant impacts as the three Presidents said.
France will concentrate its aid in Guinea, in the health sector, in education, economy and government. The recovery of the primary education sector is essential in order to be able to make up the time that (inaudible) the crisis and to be able to prevent future crises. That’s our first priority. France will contribute in Guinea and in the region by establishing early warning systems and effective health systems, and improving labs and establishing services for primary care.
But this will not be possible an increase of domestic resources for help, and to get a global or national health coverage. We want, in addition, for the young people to learn to take better measures to prevent disease, and also I will say that the youth is a challenge for all of us. We must allow the young people to find their place in the economies that we want to be restructured in these three countries.
So it's necessary to support the economies. We need to have victory over Ebola, and then to start a new economic recovery. We are going to support the water and power companies in Guinea, and our support will be given to these essential sectors. France -- and Guinea within the framework of better relief contracts, will give more than EUR100 million. In Liberia we are going to support the energy sector through a confessional loan of EUR 15 million, and a grant of EUR100 million. But all of this will have effect only if we base our efforts on legitimate, transparent institutions.
In Guinea, France will support governance, local governments for the health system, reform of the judicial system, and support for the upcoming elections. The challenge -- the post-Ebola challenge is immense, and I think that we must remind all of us here of this, but we've shown that this was possible, and it is together that we will be able to meet this challenge and reach zero cases of Ebola as soon as possible. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Next, I'd like to call on His Excellency, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan of Côte d'Ivoire.
MR. KABLAN DUNCAN: (Foreign Language) Thank you, Mr. President. Now following those who spoke before me I would like to thank The World Bank Group, the IMF, the United Nations and the entire international community whether they be public or private and the bilaterals for the support that was given to the three counties that were touched Ebola. And I would like to congratulate the three Presidents for their leadership in fighting the disease in the field.
And I just wanted to give you a few pieces of information regarding what was done by Côte d'Ivoire to help these three great leaders in the Sub-Region. President Alassane Ouattara has given $1 million to help the countries touched by the disease. We opened an airport in Abidjan in order to welcome the travelers, they have been transported by Air Côte d'Ivoire, 13,950 passengers have transited by Côte d'Ivoire coming from the three countries that were ravaged by Ebola. And I also want to say that we sent 15 doctors, experts in public hygiene to Guinea and Liberia, and they just came back recently to Côte d'Ivoire, and a new team is going to go out to the filed in order to replace those who have left.
And I just wanted to point out that we are continuing to work in terms cooperation with those three countries with regard to the development plans of ECOWAS, in terms of roads, and we are going to continue to build roads towards Guinea, and we are also going to work with Liberia in terms of security, and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen cooperation between our countries.
And, of course, we support the request for help that has been requested by the three countries, in terms of the martial plan, because really, the region needs it in terms of ECOWAS; and in terms of the Mano River Basin and I think that the international community can respond. Thank you, Mr. President.
DR. KIM: We have, unfortunately, a hard stop at 9:00 o'clock when the three Presidents and the Secretary General have to leave. So we really would ask that you look forward and try to stay within the two minutes, and we'll get as many people as possible. And next I'd like to invite Federal Minister for Economic Corporation and Development, of Germany, Mr. Gerd Müller.
MR. MÜLLER: Mr. President, Secretary General. Ebola has not yet been overcome; I saw this for myself during my visit to Liberia a few days ago. Zero infections, is still our goal. Germany has contributed more than EUR195 million, more than half of this money is being used for systems improvement. Germany will help to support social and economic development; last week I promised President Johnson Sirleaf, in Monrovia, that we will provide an extra EUR25 million for the development of Liberia's transport and energy infrastructure.
We will make further significant pledges for the region over the coming years. Germany will shoulder even more responsibility for health system development in Africa. We are learning to provide EUR 205 million for this over the next two years. More than 70 million of that amount will be for Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
At the same time we need to learn from the crisis in order to prevent epidemics. This includes new instruments for crisis prevention and response. We should continue to discuss The World Bank's proposal for a pandemic emergency facility, and I want to thank U.N. Secretary, General Ban Ki-Moon for his expert commission on lessons learned from the Ebola crisis; and President Kim, of course, for his successful work.
This will be also an issue of the coming G7 Summit next, in Germany. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I'd like to invite the Commissioner for International Corporation and Development of the European Commission, Mr. Neven Mimica, welcome.
MR. MIMICA: Thank you, President; Excellencies, Distinguished Participants. We are here today to discuss the recovery challenges facing the Ebola-affected countries. To look at where we are now, and to look forward to where we are heading in the recovery process. The European Union has been and will be remain committed to providing support to achieve the immediate priority of getting to zero.
However, in order to remain at zero level cases, we must deliver sustainable support to sustainable economic and social recovery from the Ebola crisis. We need to look toward the future to link emergency aid with medium- and long-term development.
The European Union together with its member states has made available more than 1.4 billion Euros to help contain the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa. The European Commission alone has mobilized 417 million euros of this amount. Fifty percent of our development assistance is or will be channeled through budget support to the governments of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to help them deliver urgently needed public services caused by the economic impact of the epidemic and create the fiscal space necessary for the affected countries to lead the recovery efforts.
The international community efforts must be based on the priorities established by the national and regional Ebola recovery plans. I would like to congratulate the governments for having prepared these plans, complemented by a strong strategic regional approach. The European Union has aligned its development projects to national priority of Ebola-affected countries, focusing on budget support and key sectors such as health, education, and culture. These projects will support the recovery and development of health systems, facilitate the reopening of schools, strengthen food security, and promote good governance and government accountability in the affected countries.
Investments in infrastructure to ensure economic recovery and rehabilitate social services will be necessary. The European Union will be looking at innovative ways of blending financing to develop infrastructure, in particular energy, not only in the affected countries, but across the region. There is now considerable work ahead of us in the donor community to deliver on these promises, but also in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to make good use of the funds in the implementation of their national strategies. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I’d like to invite the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Lilianne Ploumen.
MINISTER PLOUMEN: Thank you. As the Dutch minister for both development and trade, I’d like to propose three actions and contributions for the next year.
First, I will organize a trade mission to the three countries from July 6 to July 8. And usually I only travel with Dutch companies obviously, but for this occasion I will invite also companies from other countries to join me because I think it’s very important to re-energize companies to see the investment opportunities in the three countries.
The second action I’d like to propose is that as discussed with President Johnson Sirleaf, we will organize this autumn an investors conference to bring together potential investors in the three countries. We feel that fostering a vital business climate in this recovery phase is as important as providing aid.
And, finally, we will contribute $5 million to the Ebola Recovery and Reconstruction Trust Fund of the World Bank. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I’d like to invite the Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium, Mr. Alexander De Croo.
MINISTER DE CROO: Yes, Mr. President, Secretary-General, thank you for giving me the floor. Right from the outbreak, the Ebola crisis was a priority for Belgium government, both on the humanitarian side, but also for the private sector. Just one example: Brussels Airlines was the only airline, only European airline, that continued to fly and it really saved the three countries from isolation. It was a decision from the Belgium government to allow it, but I think all our gratitude goes to the staff from Brussels Airlines who made the effort to continue doing this.
My government decided to be part of the reconstruction effort. Belgium has a proven track record, for example, in strengthening health care sector and especially in tropical diseases. Also I think that our public and our private sector have key roles to play in this. And, therefore, we have made the decision that at least one of the three countries will become a partner country of the Belgium Development Cooperation. This will enable us to work in a very systematic way and to also create the space for our private sector to invest in this.
This was a systematic crisis. I think if we really want to put a step forward, we will also need to have a systematic response. And I’m looking forward to discussing how to do this with the three presidents from these countries. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I’d like to invite the Minister of International Development Cooperation of Sweden, Isabella Lovin.
MINISTER LOVIN: Thank you, President. Sweden is one of the countries that has contributed the most per capita to the Ebola response, approximately $65 million U.S. on measures to counter the Ebola outbreak, of which almost everything has been disbursed. These funds have not been earmarked for any specific country, but yesterday the decision was taken that Sweden, through its Civil Contingency Agency, will again send reinforcements to the Ebola response this time support local in Sierra Leone.
And we also have a longstanding partnership with Liberia, which engages our government, and we think it’s extremely important that the international community now ensures that there is a transfer of knowledge and skills as a bridge between the Ebola response and recovery. For instance, the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency, Swedish staff, will be present in Liberia until the end of the year to work on capacity building and strengthening of health care facilities.
When recovering from the Ebola crisis, the three countries now have a unique opportunity to truly strengthen their resilience against future shocks. The Ebola outbreak demonstrates that they cannot continue with business as usual. I visited Liberia and Sierra Leone two months ago. I could see with my own eyes and ears that there’s a strong need to strengthen the work on peace building and state building, and this work started already before the Ebola outbreak.
The Ebola outbreak has painfully exposed the fragility of these societies, but also the endurance and strength of the countries’ populations. It’s now our responsibility to make sure that we stand by their side also in the post-Ebola process. Politics needs to be more inclusive, security and justice must be put high on the agenda, institutions must be better at delivering what people ask for and need, reconciliation and trust need to be at the core. Since three years Liberia and Sweden partnered to pilot the new deal together with the U.S. in Liberia, and it’s three years since Sweden started sharing the U.N. Peace Building Commission, Liberia configuration. And now since the beginning of this year, I’m co-chairing the international dialogue on peace building and state building, together with my colleague here, Finance Minister Kaifala Marah from Sierra Leone. I look forward to having the new deal principles at the center of post-Ebola recovery plans. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I’d like to invite the Deputy Minister for International Development of Canada, Mr. Malcolm Brown.
MINISTER BROWN: Thank you, President Kim, for bringing us altogether at this critical time in response to the Ebola outbreak and the recovery processes in the three most affected countries. President Sirleaf, President Koroma, and President Conde, I can assure you that the government of Canada and all Canadians stand in solidarity with your countries and your citizens who have been devastated by the Ebola outbreak.
Since it began a year ago, Canada has allocated more than $110 million to address the health, humanitarian, and security aspects of this outbreak. Canada was a strong supporter of establishing the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response or UNMEER, to bring together the full range of U.N. actors in support of national international efforts to combat the outbreak. Canada has also provided significant in kind support, including health experts to the emergency response, and the government of Canada remains fully committed to supporting international efforts to fight to get to zero cases. The final stages in battling any epidemic are often the most challenging. Canada is convinced that if the international community doesn't completely win this fight, efforts to promote recovering and economic revitalization will be made more difficult. We all recognize the great importance of safety restarting essential services in affected countries, so that more lives are not loss to preventable illnesses and vulnerable children can once again go to school. Canada also acknowledges the need to re-ignite economic growth in the region so that people will have livelihood opportunities to help them meet their basic needs and have hope for the future. Internationally, Canada remains focused on the objective of helping developing countries build robust and resilient health systems. These health systems are the bedrock on which prevention and responses to future public health crises must be built. Strong health systems are also critical to the growth of healthy and productive communities, particularly in the area of maternal, child and child health, Canada's top development priority. The government of Canada looks forward to working with the recovery plans presented today and to continued discussions on support mechanisms. Thank you very much.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much Mr. Masanori Yoshida, Deputy Director General of the International Bureau of Ministry of Finance of Japan.
MR. YOSHIDA: Thank you President Kim. First of all I would like to express our appreciation for the strong leadership and bringing us all together. Japan has provided international contribution of 20 million dollars to Ebola recovery and reconstruction trust fund and expects it to be utilized to rebuild healthcare system to prevent the future outbreak. We encourage other countries to make national contributions to this end as well. We have also provided and will provide national assistance with 173 million dollars in total in response to Ebola, including new project for the advance research center for infectious disease at Nowichi Memorial Institute, and also some new non-project friends. Outside work we will continue to support the West Africa to rebuild resilient and a reliable healthcare system. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you, next I'd like to call on Justin Forsyth, Executive Director of Save the Children UK.
MR. FORSYTH: Thank you very much President Kim and also congratulations on the World Bank announcement today. A few weeks ago, I was in Sierra Leone and I was at the Kerry Town treatment center which we run with the Sierra Leone government, built by the British military and funded by the British government. And I was sitting under a tree with amazing nurses and doctors from our health facility. But also, a brigade of Cuban doctors and nurses, a group a children who had survived Ebola, and also these amazing Sierra Leone volunteers, community health workers who have been out in the community fighting Ebola night and day and you could have had that meeting in Guinea or Liberia too. And what they said to me was that firstly, as well as having no complacency about defeating Ebola, is how do we keep this amazing coalition of people that have come together, local people themselves, the governments in the region, the international organizations, the private sector, to put as much effort into defeating Ebola as to build for the future. And in particular they emphasize two issues. One is about not rebuilding health systems as they were in the past, but building health systems of the future, about universal health coverage. They wouldn't have used that phrase, but they're about how we build a better health system for the future.
The second thing they would say and these were the children that were there in the meeting and there were two young brothers and sisters. One was 17, one 18, who 19 members of their family had died, and they had survived Ebola. Both of them wanted to become doctors. They said, well how do we put children center stage in the future recovery? All of these young people, whether they're orphans, or people that have been through terrible tragedies, or people that have just suffered the economic tragedy of the Ebola crisis, want a stake in the future, and we have to put those children center stage. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much. I'd like to next call on the Executive Director of OXFAM International, Winnie Byanyima.
MS. BYANYIMA: Thank you Chair. And thank you Presidents for your recovery plans. OXFAM intends to stay the course and support the plans. We have raised 33 million dollars for programming in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and area also working in the at risk countries of Mali, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia. In Liberia, we are already working on recovery, providing water and sanitation support to schools, public health units, and communities. I'd like to make the following recommendations for all of our work going forward. We need to get us to zero, as others have said. Ebola isn't over and there's no room for complacency. In this last mile, it's imperative that lessons learned around community engagement are not forgotten and heavy handed security approaches not enforced. In December, OXFAM referred 27 percent of the nationally confirmed Ebola cases in Liberia. This was only accomplished because of community engagement.
We must build resilient health systems, as outlined in a report we have published today, "Never Again". People need access to universal health coverage that is free at the point of use. Building resilient health systems will require heavy investment for the three countries. Our report shows that you need 420 million dollars alone to train 9000 doctors and 37,000 nurses and midwives in the three countries. Finally, the greatest gains that have been made are those community structures that have been established through community engagement. Courageous groups have been going house to house, promoting good hygiene, providing information, checking for symptoms, and supporting disease surveillance. We must take these forward, put them in the planning for recovery.
My promise to you is that OXFAM will stay the course. And my plea is, when we set up, when we make these pledges, let's set up accountability and transparent mechanisms for how the money will be spent. I thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you. I'd like to call Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization.
DR. CHAN: Thank you very much President Kim, Secretary General, Excellency's, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Let me first and foremost commend the three presidents for their leadership. Last week, we quietly marked one of the most significant milestones in this entire crisis, and that is, 42 days elapsed since the last Ebola case in the forest area, where the whole crisis began. And last week, 30 cases of Ebola were reported, and this is a 95 percent decline from the peak incidents in last October. This is compelling evidence that the outbreak can be stopped. But success is not assured. The last five percent is as hard or harder than the first 95 percent, because this virus continues to prey on some of the most vulnerable in our society. It continues to exploit their deepest fears. W.H.O. has mounted its largest ever outbreak response in this crisis ‑‑ over 800 epidemiologists, anthropologists, logisticians and support staff now are working across the region. We will sustain this capacity to get to zero, which is so important. And then adjust this capacity to help drive the early recovery agenda. W.H.O. has coordinated the fast track development of Ebola vaccines, therapies and diagnostics, which could still prove essential to the end game of this crisis. And W.H.O. will accelerate capacity building in preparedness in the entire African region and beyond so that countries have the capability to prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies. We need global health security, and for that, we need to invest. Excellency's, ladies and gentlemen, we have not seen the end of this virus. But we have seen how to get there. We know how difficult that road is. We must not waver, allow statistics to concentrate our collective will and commitment. There is a greater than 50 percent chance that this virus would re-emerge in the near term.
Ladies and gentlemen, if it does, it must face health systems that are much more resilient and much more robust than what it found last year. Together with the partners around this table and beyond, we are fully committed to ensuring this is the case. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you. I’d like to call on Seth Berkley, the President of GAVI Alliance.
DR. BERKLEY: Thank you, Jim, and honorable presidents and development leaders. GAVI, the vaccine alliance, is pleased to partner with all of you with the focus both on the short term urgent needs and long term solutions.
We are committed to ensuring that any new Ebola vaccine if found efficacious is available in the right place at the right time and in the quantities needed and a future stockpile established.
In the short term, we are committed to helping governments restore and restart routine immunization programs which were dramatically set back through the crisis. Immunization coverage has dropped by 20 to 40 percent in all of the three countries, and we are already seeing measles outbreak.
A recent science paper suggested that more people could die of vaccine preventable diseases if coverage isn’t raised than died during the entire Ebola crisis.
Restoration efforts need to include catch up campaigns to reach children who missed their vaccines during the crisis, but also support national efforts to strengthen immunization programs as a key element of the primary health care system.
Campaigns have already been launched including those against measles and polio, and I don’t want to under estimate the need to rebuild confidence in the public health system, and this is something we are focusing on as well.
In all, GAVI is prepared to invest significantly in ensuring future Ebola vaccine availability, and we are playing our part in immunization and health service recovery. In addition to any work on financing and distributing Ebola vaccines, GAVI is providing up to $80 million to assist with health and immunization system recovery efforts. This includes a doubling of our normal health system strengthening grants to the affected countries.
We are pleased to see immunization recovery plans taking hold in each country, and we encourage their rapid, rapid implementation in order to prevent more deaths and disability. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you. I’d like to call on President Werner Hoyer of the European Investment Bank.
MR. HOYER: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Excellences, the EIBs, the European Union’s long term project financier, so it goes without saying we concentrate our efforts particularly on those areas where we can bring in our expertise in long term financing, crowding, and private capital, which obviously is needed as was said by many of you.
The projects which are targeted at getting the economy restarted or continuing, we cover quite a spectrum, from the rehabilitation of the airport in Monrovia to the refurbishment and extension of Guinea’s electricity transmission networks, to the very important issue of the West African power pool, which must be sped up in order to get effective.
In the months ahead, we expect to increase engagement to support energy and transport projects in the region, and beyond all of this, we are concentrating highly on what has just been mentioned on the Ebola vaccine research, which is key, and will remain key for a very long time, and we are trying to be helpful there in connection with a couple of European drug manufacturers.
We will, of course, continue to liaise with the African Development Bank and others on establishing the proposed regional centers for disease control.
Beyond that, I think it is important to think about instruments that we as financial institutions can apply, and I think it is necessary to become more creative. This is true from the fight against Ebola to climate action or to the SDGs, which we will discuss this year.
It will be necessary to come up with new ideas how to combine grant money coming from all kinds of institutions with the ability to multiply this and to leverage this in terms of guarantees and loans because at the end of the day, the public sectors of all our nations will not be able to finance all these needs out of public money. Thank you very much.
DR. KIM: Thank you. In that spirit, I’d like to invite a representative from the private sector. One of the things that we have learned is the private sector has to be involved. I’d like to call on Luc Boedt, the President of SOCFIN. We will do our best to get everybody. We are going to go. Go ahead, Luc.
MR. BOEDT: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, your Excellences. Indeed, I am happy that I can speak in this meeting and give the floor to the private sector that has been fighting Ebola as well. We were present on the grounds, we were in Sierra Leone, and we are helping agriculture investments in Guinea, and the simple fact that we were on the grounds allowed us to be extremely quick and reactive on the Ebola threat, and that shows the advantage of such structures.
We could inform through our schools, through our communications systems, via our syndicates and unions, make people aware of the threat of Ebola.
I am in fact proud that in Liberia and in Sierra Leone, we were capable of having no cases of Ebola, and it was simply because we could react very early, from March onwards last year, because our medical services made us aware of it.
Now, that is all very nice to talk about, but what is the future. I think the future is on two aspects. First of all, lots of people are talking about agriculture, and I think for Africa the future in the first instance is with agriculture, but not agriculture as it is done today, no subsistence agriculture, we must be more modern and look forward and give private investors the occasion to develop agro industries in these countries. That is the short term future and the long term future for Africa.
I think our friends from the Ivory Coast, where we are also working, can show that agriculture is really a tool for rural development.
I plead for that because the land has been so exploited because the population is growing, we have to bring in capital, fertilizers, technical knowledge, to make it better. That is my appeal for the future, that we can make investor-friendly environments.
I mean by the financial tools, and that is something for the Western world to take care of, the financial tools, but also a friendly environment for investors from the governments. The leaders and my dear friends, the presidents who are sitting there, I know all of them personally, have the best intentions, but sometimes on the lower level, it’s very hard to work.
That is what we should work on so that the private sector can come and have a stable environment to work in, and it will help so much.
DR. KIM: Thank you. We are going to go over because there are some very important voices that we still have to hear. Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of Global Fund.
MR. DYBUL: Thank you. We would like to acknowledge the leadership of the three heads of state and the resilience of your people, and actually the many African countries, which doesn’t get enough credit outside of this room.
Global Fund is a partnership of many around this table, including the donors to the Global Fund who are here, whose generosity makes contributions possible, technical partners, private sector, and civil society.
This partnership of solidarity has committed $387 million to the three countries - Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, $138 million has been committed so far to specific programs, a quarter of that for resilient health systems.
We look forward to working under the leadership of these three presidents and their people to ensure the remaining $250 million supports the efforts to create health systems needed to get your HIV, TB, and Malaria programs back on track, and to achieve your broader health priorities.
DR. KIM: Thank you, Mark. I’d like to call on Anna Valkova, Deputy Director for International Financial Relations, Russia.
MS. VALKOVA: Thank you, President Kim. Today’s meeting demonstrates the efforts of the international community in dealing with public health crises, however, our joint efforts enabled us to stabilize the situation, and we appreciate the efforts and contributions of the World Bank and IMF.
Since the beginning of the crisis, Russia was an integral part of the international efforts to combat this disease, and even in the current economic situation, our contribution to these efforts has already been allocated to this response, over $60 million U.S. dollars.
Since August 2014, Russian experts are providing technical assistance. One field hospital was sent, and another one was built at the expense of the Russian private sector.
We have sent medical devices, personal protective equipment, food and other humanitarian aid to these countries, and also the Russian government has allocated about $20 million to the international organizations, including contributions to WHO, Multilateral Trust Fund, and including $3 million in a contribution to the World Bank Ebola cover and construction trust fund.
Today, our main task is to continue working vigorously to end the outbreak. We have to remember the lessons learned. The first one, there is a need to reform the structure of the global response to public health emergencies in order to have effective coordination.
The second one, there is a lack of health workers and medical personnel with sufficient knowledge in the area working with dangerous diseases. This has led to an abnormally high level of cases of infection among health workers.
Third, vulnerable countries themselves should be in the center of our efforts, aim to build long-term capacity, to timely detect and respond to public health risks. So these three issues should be among our priorities and from our side, Russia will continue to provide further assistance to fight Ebola and strengthen health systems of affected countries. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you. I'd like to Fatima Acyl of the African Union?
MS. ACYL: Thank you very much, President, Excellencies and distinguished participants. Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma who has been instrumental in mobilizing funds and human resources in the fight against Ebola.
This event is set to alert us that the fight is not over and that complacencies should not set in and overwhelm us even though the current situation seems more favorable than a few months ago. Your Excellencies, for sake of time, I will focus on the challenges.
One of the challenges is timely and sustainable funding. There are huge gaps between budget and pledges, between pledges and amount redeemed. Time availability of fund facilitate quick deployment and procurement of equipment required. So it would be appropriate and appreciated if this (inaudible) could deliberate on sustainable funding for health care worker on the ground.
The AU also advocates strongly for debt relief consolation of the affected countries. The next issue is travel restriction, border closure, suspension of maritime and flight, obscuring monitoring response and increase costs. Continued travel bans causes stigma, discrimination and poses a threat the African raison d'etre which is integration.
We would like to see great support for recovery effort of the three affected countries including this threatening of health system to deal with non-Ebola related issue. Your Excellencies, permit me to use this occasion to inform you that the African Union will be organizing a global conference from 20 to 21st of July in Malabo Equatorial Guinea under the title African conference on Ebola recovery and reconstruction which was called by the AU, head of state (inaudible) and with them to bring relevant and various stakeholders to discuss the post-Ebola recovery.
Some of the focus will be building on the progress and lessons to date. Safe reactivation of health and other essential services, the establishment of well-trained corps of voluntary reserve health force that call upon at any time to respond to health emergencies and threats and to speed up the establishment of African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, African CDC that will focus on disease detection, surveillance and response as well as capacity building of African Union member states to be able to effectively implement the international health regulation. I thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you. And let's go -- we have -- I am going to ask Tom Frieden of CDC, I will ask Michael Myers of Rockefeller Foundation and then, I think we may have to leave. But let's -- Tom, if we can be quick, please? Thank you.
MR. FRIEDEN: First, congratulations to all for steady progress under leadership of the three country presidents. As President Koroma said, we are not out of the woods. As we move forward, the key lesson is the need for fast detection and response at the national and global level.
And while we've heard a lot about health systems, the public health infrastructure is crucial to get to zero and to stay at zero. National capacities will always be faster than an international response. And so, building national capacity to find, stop and prevent threats is crucial.
Globally, we'll need a reserve that can respond rapidly when there's an outbreak that exceeds national capacity and that is ready and able to respond expertly. Strengthening national ministries of health and public health capacity with staffing, salary, support, supervision will be key. At CDC, we will be there to do this with you but fundamentally, each country will have to establish the kind of both salary structure and support and infrastructure to have the laboratory, disease detection and response systems needed. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you, Michael?
MR. MYERS: Thank you, President Kim. We're prepared to work with countries on defining -- countries and organizations on defining what we really mean by resilience. We use that term but what does it mean in developing the health systems of the future with the view to achieving universal health coverage including public health. So that is an important question as we're developing plans and implementing them going forward.
What do we really mean by resilience and how do we do it and apply it in such a way that it makes a difference for the future. A second point for the future is I was very happy to see within the World Bank's announcement support for regional disease surveillance. And we've been very happy to be supporters of the early planning for a disease surveillance network for West Africa and many of the leaders around this table have been involved in that effort.
So those two things, really thinking about what resilience means in practice and regional disease surveillance, I wanted to flag for the future. Thank you.
DR. KIM: Thank you very much and unfortunately, we could go longer but we have another event to go to. So I want to thank everyone for their comments, for their inputs. At our count, we're now well over $1 billion just from this morning toward the $8 billion Marshall fund.
The Marshall Plan, I know that President Johnson Sirleaf is a great student of American history. The Marshall Plan actually added up to 2.7 percent of the U.S. GDP per year for a good amount of time. So I don't think we're going to quite get there but I think that the extent of the recovery of these countries is a test for all of us, is a test for the global community.
We are certainly committed and we are incredibly encouraged by the support of all of you. Thank you very much.