World Bank gives $100 mn for Ebola health workers in W.Africa

Medical staff wearing protective masks wait for passengers arriving from Conakry in Guinea at Abidjan airport on October 20, 2014 as Ivory Coast's airline resumed flights to the three west African countries worst-hit by Ebola (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo) (AFP)

Washington (AFP) - The World Bank said Thursday it was immediately providing $100 million to support the deployment of more health workers to Ebola-stricken West Africa.

The money is in answer to appeals for reinforcement of health workers in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the deadly disease has killed nearly 5,000.

The United Nations estimates that the three countries need another 5,000 international medical, training and support personnel in the coming months.

That includes the need for 700-1,000 workers to treat patients in Ebola treatment centers, the World Bank said.

"The world's response to the Ebola crisis has increased significantly in recent weeks, but we still have a huge gap in getting enough trained health workers to the areas with the highest infection rates," said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

"We must urgently find ways to break any barriers to the deployment of more health workers."

In early October, the Bank joined the World Health Organization and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response to set a "70/70/60" goal: to isolate and treat 70 percent of suspected Ebola cases in West Africa and safely bury 70 percent of the dead within the next 60 days.

Altogether, the Bank has marshaled some $500 million to help battle the disease as well as strengthen social services in the three countries over the medium term.

Of that amount, $117 million has already been disbursed.