World Bank gives Madagascar $5m to fight plague crisis

Global lender offers additional support to help contain epidemic.

WHO personnel deployed to help Madagascar combat a plague outbreak. RIVONALA RAZAFISON | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Epidemic has affected 40 out of 114 districts in 14 regions so far
  • An estimated 1,200 cases of plague infection have been reported
  • WHO said $5.5 million needed to contain the epidemic

The World Bank has approved an additional $5 million funding to help Madagascar cope with the plague outbreak.

The World Bank said in a press release that the decision was made in Washington on October 13-15.

The funds, explained the release, would be used in the Emergency National Response plan.

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Vulnerable areas

The plan includes the deployment of personnel to the frontline in the affected districts, disinfection and fight against insects, cleaning up of vulnerable areas and for the purchase of fuel for ambulances.

A Malagasy delegation headed by the Finances and Budget minister, Ms Vonintsalama Andriambololona, had appealed for further financial support to combat the epidemic.

“We are pleased that the Bank has listened to our call. The ministry promises to closely supervise the good management of such resources in order to quickly tame the epidemic,” Ms Andriambololona said on Monday.

The WB country manager in Antananarivo, Ms Coralie Gevers, assured that the new financial support would not affect the availability of other funds for Madagascar's social and infrastructure projects.

The illness

The epidemic has affected 40 out of 114 districts in 14 regions so far, according to governmental data.

Since August, the plague has killed at least 130 people, including foreigners.

An estimated 1,200 infections have been reported, with nearly 800 of them said to have recovered from the illness.

In October, the Geneva-headquartered World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the plague response on the island nation required at least $5.5 million.

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