World Bulletin/News Desk
Eight bodies, including those of three journalists, were found after an attack on a team trying to educate locals on the risks of the Ebola virus in a remote area of southeastern Guinea, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
"The eight bodies were found in the village latrine. Three of them had their throats slit," Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters by telephone in Conakry.
However, Guinea's Prime Minister Mohamed Saïd Fofana, speaking in a television message that had been recorded earlier, said 7 bodies of 9 missing people had been found.
He said six people have been arrested following the incident, which took place on Tuesday in Wome, a village close to the town of Nzerekore, in Guinea's southeast, where Ebola was first identified in March.
Since then the virus has killed some 2,630 people and infected at least 5,357 people, according to World Health Organization (WHO), mostly in Guinea, neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia. It has also spread to Senegal and Nigeria.
Authorities in the region are faced with widespread fears, misinformation and stigma among residents of the affected countries, complicating efforts to contain the highly contagious disease.
Fofana said the team that included local administrators, two medical officers, a preacher and three accompanying journalists, was attacked by a hostile stone-throwing crowd from the village when they tried to inform people about Ebola.
He said it was regrettable that the incident occurred as the international community was mobilising to help countries struggling to contain the disease.
The Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa has exposed a need to help countries by applying public-private partnerships that will foster economic growth rather leave them dependent on aid, the U.S. Agency for International Development chief said on Thursday.
Rajiv Shah, the administrator of USAID, said initiatives that bring together government and the private sector will also help achieve United Nations development goals of ending extreme poverty worldwide by 2030.
"Those are the types of states where we need to concentrate as a developmental community and from a public-private perspective," Shah told Reuters. "Shoring up those types of places that are fragile ought to be the top priority for the development community."
In 2010, Obama declared an overhaul of the way the United States applies aid, moving away from aid and dependence to a focus on spurring economic growth, which can reduce poverty and create jobs.
Instead of writing checks and paying others to do the work, Shah said the United States was using financial tools and private sector investment to strengthen poor economies.
To illustrate this shift, USAID will provide a $42 million bond guarantee to Dakar, the capital of Senegal, to build a marketplace for 3,500 vendors, Shah said. The investment, the first municipal bond issuance in West Africa, will also enable Dakar to collect tax revenues.
"We're at an interesting time where embracing the goal of ending extreme poverty is not just a charity mission," Shah said.
The United States has emphasized that its interest in Africa and the developing world goes beyond natural resources to technical expertise, access to pools of capital to help drive investment in such things as power, infrastructure and agriculture.
The poverty goal will be discussed on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York next week.Last Mod: 19 Eylül 2014, 11:01