The president of the World Bank, Jim Kim, admitted on Wednesday that the international community had “failed miserably” in its response to the Ebola virus that has killed more than 3,800 people in west Africa and warned that the crisis now affecting Spain and the US was going to get much worse.

Amid signs yesterday that western governments were being forced to take the risks of a global pandemic more seriously, Kim said he wanted them to back a new $20bn (£12bn) global health fund that would be able to react instantly to emergencies.

“It’s late. It’s really late,” he said in an interview with the Guardian before the annual meeting of the Washington-based organisation this weekend.

“We should have done so many things. Healthcare systems should have been built. There should have been monitoring when the first cases were reported. There should have been an organised response.”

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