BERLIN (AFP) – World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim warned Tuesday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could trigger famine, and called for the creation of an international emergency fund for epidemics.
Speaking to German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Kim said that one in four farmers in the most affected countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had stopped planting their fields.
“In one year, we could be grappling with a famine,” he said.
Kim called for a “global accord, orchestrated by the World Bank or another organisation” to “provide funds in case of a pandemic emer-gency”.
He said the project could work along the lines of aid from the International Monetary Fund or World Bank for countries stricken by financial crises or natural disasters, financed by member states.
“Rich countries commit to more, poorer to less.
“But everyone can play their part,” he was quoted as saying.
“I consider it my moral duty to complete this project during my term in office.”