World Bank announces up to $200 million in assistance for Ebola epidemic

This photo provided by the CDC shows an ebola Virus. U.S. health officials are monitoring the Ebola outbreak in Africa but say the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote. (AP Photo/CDC)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The World Bank on Monday announced up to $200 million in emergency assistance to help Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

The funding will also help the countries improve their public health systems and cope with the economic impact of the crisis, the Washington-based lender said in a statement. The worst ever outbreak of the virus has stretched the countries' resources and health systems.

Guinea's economic growth could fall a full percentage point to 3.5 percent due to the epidemic, according to the World Bank and IMF's initial assessment.

(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)