The President of the World Bank Group (WBG), Jim Yong Kim, has emphasized the need for more support to help Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone get to zero new Ebola cases.He said reaching zero new Ebola cases will help the three countries jumpstart their economy recovery and build a safer, more prosperous and resilient future for their citizens.“Many of us have acknowledged that the international community was slow to react to Ebola. Let’s show that we have learned this lesson by supporting an effective and sustainable recovery that also prepares these countries — and the rest of the world — for the next pandemic.” Kim said.He noted that, in addition to the severe effects of Ebola, the economic downturn in the three countries has been aggravated by the sharp decline in global iron ore prices, as well as the collapse of the mining sector in Sierra Leone, which has resulted in an unprecedented GDP contraction in that country estimated at 23.5 per cent.Since the WBG issued its last economic update on January 20, 2015, it says important differences among the three countries are emerging.The WBG new report has found that Sierra Leone is now facing a severe recession with the potential for an unprecedented 23.5% growth rate in 2015, resulting from financial issues that led to the closure of iron ore mining.The report also noted that a gradual return of Liberia to normalcy, with a projected GDP growth rate of 3%.The report further shows that the Ebola epidemic continues to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.An estimated GDP losses for the three countries in 2015 rose to US$2.2 billion: US$240 million for Liberia, US$535 million for Guinea and US$1.4 billion for Sierra Leone.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the week leading up to April 12, there were a total of 37 confirmed cases of Ebola, compared with 30 the previous week in Guinea and Sierra Leone.There has been no case reported in Liberia for the past three weeks.At the same time, World Bank has announced US$650 million as additional support to the three West Africa Ebola affected countries for the next 12 to 18 months to help them recover from the impact of the Ebola crisis.The new funding will be used to strengthen priority areas in health systems and frontline care, agriculture, education, cash transfers and other social protection programs, which include lifesaving infrastructure such as electricity, water, sanitation and roads.The funds will also be used to develop a regional disease surveillance system across West Africa that will help prevent or contain future pandemics.The new WBG pledge brings the organization’s total financing for Ebola response and recovery efforts to US$1.62 billion.Other commitments announced include $300 million from the African Development Bank, $80 million from GAVI, and $387 million from the Global Fund through 2017 for the worst Ebola affected countries in the sub region.This is in addition to previously committed funding to the Ebola response and recovery efforts from the United States, United Kingdom, and many other development partners, which represents a substantial investment in support of the national plans.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Roger Federer’s bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title was cut short in the semifinals Friday by Milos Raonic, a big-serving Canadian who came from two-sets-to-one down to win in five and reach his first Grand Slam final.Raonic beat the seven-time champion 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Centre Court, handing the Swiss great his first loss ever in the Wimbledon semifinals after 10 straight wins.The 25-year-old Raonic became the first Canadian man in history to advance to the final of a Grand Slam tournament. The only other Canadian to get this far was Eugenie Bouchard, the women’s runner-up at Wimbledon in 2014.The sixth-seeded Raonic, who served 23 aces among his 75 winners, avenged a Wimbledon semifinal loss to Federer in straight sets two years ago. The No. 3-seeded Federer broke serve only once, while Raonic managed three breaks.In Sunday’s final, Raonic will play the winner of the semifinal match between 2013 champion Andy Murray and 2010 runner-up Tomas Berdych.For Federer, the loss means he remains one title short of the all-time Wimbledon men’s record. He’s still tied with Pete Sampras and 1880s player William Renshaw with seven.Federer last won Wimbledon in 2012, the last of his record 17 Grand Slam championships. He lost in the Wimbledon final the past two years to Novak Djokovic, who was ousted in the third round this year by Sam Querrey.Federer fell just short of an 85th match win at Wimbledon, which would have put him in sole possession of the record of 84 he currently shares with Jimmy Connors.advertisementAfter Raonic broke to take the fourth set, Federer called for a trainer on the changeover and had his right thigh massaged.Then, while serving at 2-1 down in the fifth, Federer lost his footing on a deuce point and fell onto his stomach on the turf while trying in vain to reach a passing shot. Federer went immediately to his chair and called for trainer, who examined his left knee.Federer, who had surgery on his left knee in January, resumed the game and didn’t show any outward sign of injury. But he was broken in that game after a crucial double-fault at deuce. On the second break point, Raonic stroked a forehand cross-court passing shot winner after both men made difficult volleys to stay in the point.That break put Raonic in firm control, and he stayed on top the rest of the set and served out the match at love.It was a breakthrough victory for Raonic, who has had John McEnroe in his coaching corner since the Wimbledon warm-up tournament at Queen’s Club. In his previous Grand Slam semifinal match, Raonic lost to Murray at this year’s Australian Open.At 25, he’s the youngest Wimbledon finalist since Murray reached the title match in 2012 at the same age.Raonic came into the semifinals on a five-match losing streak against players ranked in the top three. He was also 0-4 in majors against top-three players.