IMF announces debt relief to stricken countries as Ebola cases pass 22,000

Ebola Outbreak

A health care worker sprays disinfectant outside a USAID, funded Ebola clinic in Monrovia, Liberia, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)

The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it will provide nearly $100 million in debt relief to the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak: Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

In a press release, the IMF said that a second round of new concessional loans amounting to about $160 million will be considered soon by the Executive Board, and that the funds announced Thursday would come in addition to the $130 million in assistance provided in Sept. 2014.

CASES: 22,478

DEATHS: 8,974

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Note: The outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria were declared over on Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 2014, respectively. ‘Cases’ and ‘deaths’ include all suspected, possible, and confirmed instances.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the Washington-based lending institution, made the announcement and said she will press other lenders to grant debt relief to the three countries.

“I welcome the establishment of the Catastrophe Containment Relief Trust. It aims at enhancing our support to the countries in Africa hit by Ebola, as well as other low income countries that may be affected by public health disasters in the future,” she said.

“This is a strong example of the IMF demonstrating flexibility and innovation in responding to the needs of our global membership.”

The growth of Ebola cases:

Ebola deaths over time:

How this outbreak compares to past Ebola outbreaks:


All Ebola data via WHO.
See all of our coverage of the Ebola crisis here.