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IMF delivers on debt relief for Ebola-stricken countries

The Ebola outbreak has devastated parts of West Africa, killing thousands and wreaking havoc on the region's economy. The International Monetary Fund has made good on its promise to help an economic recovery.

The International Monetary Fund announced Thursday it had delivered on its promised debt relief for the three West African countries worst-hit by the Ebola epidemic.

In early February, the Washington-based international lender

pledged $100 million

(92 million euros) in debt relief for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

On Thursday, the IMF also said

it had approved $29.8 million

in debt relief to Guinea as part of the institution's new Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. Previously (CCR), the institution had granted $29.1 million to Sierra Leone and $36.5 million to Liberia.

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"The CCR grant will be applied to immediately repay outstanding debt and free up resources for use in relief, containment and recovery efforts in the fight against the Ebola epidemic," the IMF said.

Since the outbreak of Ebola, more than a year ago, the epidemic

has killed over 10,000 people

, mostly in these three West African countries, and has ravaged their economies.

IMF spokesman William Murray said debt relief should help governments "fund increased public health spending and outlays during the crisis."

"The

Ebola outbreak is not over

," Murray said. "The Fund will continue to do all it can within its mandate to assist."

el/uhe (AFP, IMF)

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