Rwanda received $70 million in aid from the World Bank to help reduce poverty by improving the African state's social protection benefits meant for the poorest households. Rwanda, one of sub-Saharan Africa's fastest growing economies over the past decade, has put poverty alleviation at the heart of its policy since the end of a genocide that killed 800,000 people in mid-1990s. The number of Rwandans living in extreme poverty fell to 24 percent in 2011 from 40 percent a decade earlier, government data showed. Rwanda's Finance Minister Claver Gatete said on Monday a portion of the aid from the World Bank will provide monthly allowances to some of the poorest families in Rwanda, women, genocide survivors, as well as fund new businesses.
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday it will create a contingency fund and an emergency workforce to respond quickly to crises after strong criticism of the agency's delay in confronting the Ebola epidemic. Director-general Dr. Margaret Chan said at an emergency meeting called to discuss the agency's Ebola response that the outbreak showed the need to strengthen WHO's crisis management and to streamline procedures for recruiting frontline workers. "Member states truly understand that the world does need a collective defence mechanism for global health security." In the past year, 21,724 Ebola cases have been reported in nine countries and 8,641 people have died, according to the WHO, which says West Africa's outbreak is ebbing. "The WHO we have is not the WHO we need, not the WHO we needed to respond to health emergencies of the magnitude of Ebola," Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), told the talks.