Seoul pledges US$500,000 in aid to fight Ebola outbreak

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will provide an additional US$500,000 in assistance to West African countries to help them contain the spread of the Ebola virus, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The deadly virus, which is fast spreading in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, has claimed more than 880 lives since February, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), raising fears over contagion to other regions.

Seoul's foreign ministry said that it has decided to support the international community's efforts to contain the virus, given the seriousness of the threat.

The WHO has requested the international community to provide an additional $71 million in emergency funds.

South Korea offered $100,000 to West African countries through the WHO in the first half of the year when the outbreak was first reported, the ministry added.

"Despite a limited budget, the South Korean government plans to continue to expand such humanitarian support to help the international community actively cope with this crisis," the ministry said.

The World Bank on Monday pledged to provide as much as $200 million in emergency assistance to help the affected countries contain the spread of the virus.

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