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Obama Requests $6 Billion to Fight Ebola

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama answers a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014.

President Barack Obama answers a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014.

President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $6.18 billion in emergency funds to combat Ebola in West Africa and to secure the United States against any spread of the virus.

The request coincided with a report released Wednesday by the World Health Organization, indicating fewer new Ebola cases this week in Liberia, about the same number as last week in Guinea and an increase in Sierra Leone.

The World Bank, in coordination with the United Nations, said it was mobilizing about $1 billion for the three countries, which have been hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak. That financial aid is meant to help speed up the deployment of foreign health workers in those countries.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the Ebola outbreak "is a humanitarian crisis first and foremost, but it's also an economic disaster for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. That's why, in addition to our emergency aid, we will do all we can to help support the private sector in these countries to build back their businesses."

In response to the Obama administration's request to Congress for Ebola funds, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner said congressional staffers would review the appropriation request.

According to an official at the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the administration wants lawmakers to provide $4.5 billion for an immediate response to the deadly disease and another $1.5 billion in contingency money.

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