October 24, 2014 / 3:00 PM / 5 years ago

China to offer $82 million in fourth round of Ebola aid

BEIJING, Oct 24 (Reuters) - China said on Friday it would donate 500 million yuan ($82 million) to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to battle Ebola, its largest round of aid to help contain the spread of the deadly virus.

This was the fourth round of Chinese aid against Ebola, the highly infectious haemorrhagic fever that has killed more than 4,800 people since its worst epidemic on record began earlier this year.

China has sent hundreds of aid workers to Africa to help fight the Ebola outbreak and so far has contributed about $40 million in aid to fight the disease, including $6 million to the World Food Programme.

“China will offer aid in cash and in kind, send more health experts and medical staff and help build a treatment centre in Liberia,” the official Xinhua news agency cited China’s President Xi Jinping as saying.

The World Food Programme said on Monday that China’s corporations and billionaires have lagged behind in contributions to fighting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa despite vast economic ties to the region.

Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd., a Chinese drug maker with military ties, has sent several thousand doses of an experimental Ebola drug to Africa and is planning clinical trials there.

About a million Chinese nationals live in Africa, with about 10,000 in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

The World Health Organization has warned of 5,000-10,000 new cases of Ebola globally every week by December. (Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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