Saudi King gives $46m grant for Ebola fight

Saudi King gives $46m grant for Ebola fight

Saudi King Abdullah has donated US$35 million (S$46 million) to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to support its Ebola fighting programme, funding equipment and specialised treatment centres in four West African countries.

Under the grant, the Jeddah-based IDB will set up treatment centres in countries where Ebola is endemic, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, as well as Mali where some cases have appeared, the IDB said in a statement on Thursday.

Separately, the GAVI global vaccines alliance is committing up to US$300 million to buy Ebola vaccines, two weeks after it raised US$500 million from an Islamic bond.

The deal, raised through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co, is the largest Islamic bond ever issued by a global non-profit organisation, part of a trend to use bond markets to fund ethical projects.

GAVI, which is funded by governments and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a statement on Thursday it was ready to begin procurement as soon as the World Health Organisation recommended a vaccine for use.

GAVI said it would meet funding needs of the Ebola vaccine programme using a combination of existing and new financing.


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