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IMF Policies Contributed To Poor Health Care In West Africa, Lack Of Ebola Response, Researchers Write In Commentary

News outlets report on a commentary published in The Lancet Global Health that discusses International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies and the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Associated Press: Researchers: IMF policies hindered Ebola response
“Professors from three leading British universities say International Monetary Fund policies favoring international debt repayment over social spending contributed to the Ebola crisis by hampering health care in the three worst-hit West African countries…” (Faul, 12/30).

The Hill: Study: IMF policies fueled Ebola spread
“…The IMF denied that the terms of its loans to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone hampered social spending, noting data that pointed to improved health outcomes in those countries. Health spending has also increased as a percentage of GDP in the region, the IMF said…” (Viebeck, 12/30).

Washington Post: Did the International Monetary Fund help make the Ebola crisis?
“…The [researchers’] basic argument: the IMF gives lip service to social services, but their insistence on financial austerity starved the health systems of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and the crisis is worse because of it…” (Blattman, 12/30).

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