Obama pledges $37B in overall aid to Africa - Tucson News Now

Obama pledges $37B in overall aid to Africa

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President Barack Obama addressed the Ebola virus and sending aid to Africa during the wrap-up of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC on Wednesday. (Source: POOL/CNN) President Barack Obama addressed the Ebola virus and sending aid to Africa during the wrap-up of the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, DC on Wednesday. (Source: POOL/CNN)

WASHINGTON, DC (POOL/CNN) – A summit with leaders from across Africa wrapped up in Washington, DC with pledges to provide more aid and investments to the continent.

"We're launching a new African peacekeeping rapid response partnership with the goal of quickly deploying African peacekeepers in support of UN or AU missions,” Obama said. “And, we'll join with six countries that, in recent years, have demonstrated a track record as peacekeepers - Ghana, Senegal, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda. And, we're going to invite countries beyond Africa to join us in supporting this effort because the entire world has a state in the success of peacekeeping in Africa."

President Barack Obama announced the results of the three-day summit after meeting with African leaders.

"Combined with the investments we announced yesterday and the commitments made today at the symposium hosted by our spouses, this summit has helped to mobilize some $37 billion for Africa's progress on top of obviously the substantial efforts that have been made in the past," Obama said.

President Obama’s first-ever U.S.-Africa leaders’ summit comes as West Africa deals with a deadly Ebola outbreak.

"We're focusing on the public health approach right now because we know how to do that. But I will continue to seek information about what we're learning with respect to these drugs going forward," Obama said.

The president said the U.S. is working with other nations and the World Health Organization to send more healthcare workers to that region.

"What we've done is to make sure we're surging, not just U.S. resources, but we've reached out to European partners and partners from other countries, working with the WHO,” Obama said. “Let's get all the health workers we need on the ground, let's help to bolster the systems they already have in place, let's nip as early as possible any additional outbreaks of the disease. And then, in the course of that process I think it's entirely appropriate for us to see if there are additional drugs or medical treatments that can improve the survivability of what is a very deadly and obviously brutal disease."

The wrap-up led to Obama fielding questions on various topics. One journalist asked him about the experimental Ebola serum Z-Mapp.

"I think we've got to let the science guide us. And I don't think all the information's in on whether this drug is helpful. What we do know is that the Ebola virus, both currently and in the past, is controllable if you have a strong infrastructure in place,” Obama said. “And the countries that have been infected are the first to admit that what's happened here is that their public health systems have been overwhelmed."

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