October 30, 2014 / 2:48 PM / 6 years ago

IMF sees large financing needs next year for Ebola-hit countries

A health worker sprays a colleague's boots with chlorine disinfectant in Monrovia October 20, 2014. REUTERS/James Giahyue

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund foresees large financing needs next year in the three West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

“The outlook for the Ebola-hit countries has worsened, with large financing needs likely for 2015,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters, referring to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. He said the Fund was still assessing what that would mean for its response.

The IMF in September approved $130 million in zero-interest loans to the three countries to help them deal with the economic impact from a disease that has so far killed about 5,000 people in West Africa. At the time, the Fund estimated the three countries would need about $300 million in total.

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