UN, World Bank to international community: Plan beyond Ebola

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at a press conference on the U.N. system’s response to the Ebola crisis. He is joined by the U.N. Chief Executives Board members. Photo by: Eskinder Debebe / U.N.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim made separate appeals to the international community Nov. 21 to begin planning recovery efforts in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.

Ban told reporters after meeting with United Nations senior officials in Washington, D.C. that an accelerated response with additional funding and personnel support is needed to contain and end the outbreak by the middle of next year.

However, he underscored that now is also the time to begin thinking beyond the disease.

“Even as we focus on the immediate threat, it is not too soon to start working on recovery,” Ban said. “The consequences of Ebola will long last the outbreak. Ebola has had a significant impact on health care, education and food security. Trade has suffered. Businesses have closed. The affected countries will need assistance long after the crisis has passed.”

Kim emphasized in a written statement the importance of not letting up until we reach zero cases of Ebola, and echoed Ki-moon’s appeal for a recovery plan.

“Even as we focus intensely on the immediate health response, we also must begin planning to help the affected countries back on the road to economic recovery and development,” Kim wrote. “As soon as possible, we need to get children back in school, farmers back in their fields, businesses back up and running, and investors back into these countries.”

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About the author

  • Jeff Tyson

    Jeff is a former global development reporter for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers multilateral affairs, U.S. aid, and international development trends. He has worked with human rights organizations in both Senegal and the U.S., and prior to joining Devex worked as a production assistant at National Public Radio. He holds a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations and French from the University of Rochester.

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