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World Bank Chief: Ebola Shows 'Deadly Cost' of Inequality

FILE - World Bank President Jim Yong Kim is seen speaking at a news conference.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says the Ebola epidemic shows "the deadly cost of unequal access to basic services."

He spoke Wednesday at Howard University in Washington, where he said poverty, and a lack of health infrastructure are key reasons the deadly Ebola virus is spreading so quickly in parts of Africa.

Dr. Kim is an infectious disease expert with experience in South America and Africa. He says the global response to the disease is improving after a slow start. He warns of an economic "catastrophe" unless there is further, stronger action.

Kim spoke in advance of next week's annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington. He says crafting better ways to boost "shared prosperity" is on the agenda.

The annual meetings gather officials from member nations around the world to debate economic strategies. They are scheduled to discuss increased spending on infrastructure as a way to boost both short and long term economic growth. They are also seeking better ways to cut high youth unemployment.