December 12, 2014 / 2:42 AM / 4 years ago

Saudi King gives $35 million grant for Ebola fight

Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud sits before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Royal Palace in Jeddah September 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

(Reuters) - Saudi King Abdullah has donated $35 million (£22.2 million) to the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) [ISDBA.UL] to support its Ebola fighting programme, funding equipment and specialised treatment centres in four West African countries.

Under the grant, the Jeddah-based IDB will setup treatment centres in countries where Ebola is endemic, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, as well as Mali where some cases have appeared, the IDB said in a statement on Thursday.

Separately, the GAVI global vaccines alliance is committing up to $300 million to buy Ebola vaccines, two weeks after it raised $500 million from an Islamic bond.

The deal, raised through the International Finance Facility for Immunisation Co [IFFIM.UL], is the largest Islamic bond ever issued by a global non-profit organisation, part of a trend to use bond markets to fund ethical projects.

GAVI, which is funded by governments and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in a statement on Thursday it was ready to begin procurement as soon as the World Health Organization recommended a vaccine for use. [ID:nL6N0TV24K]

GAVI said it would meet funding needs of the Ebola vaccine programme using a combination of existing and new financing.

Reporting by Bernardo Vizcaino, Editing by Michael Perry

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