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--To Ebola Fight
The President of the ECOWAS Commission Ambassador Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 paid a one day solidarity visit to Liberia and committed an additional one million United States dollar to the Government of Liberia for the Ebola fight. Similar amounts were committed to Guinea and Sierra Leone that are most affected by the Ebola disease.
Amb. Ouedraogo disclosed that ECOWAS is expected to deploy 131 medical personnel to help in the fight against the Ebola virus that is ravaging the three West African countries.
The ECOWAS President was accompanied by Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas Special Representative of the UN-Secretary General for West Africa.
During the solidarity visit, the officials held productive discussions with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at which time they hailed efforts of Liberia in the fight against Ebola. The meeting with President Sirleaf was followed by a press stake-out held in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the visiting dignitaries and Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked ECOWAS for the support towards the fight against Ebola and briefed the team on the social economic impact Ebola has on the country. President Johnson Sirleaf briefed the ECOWAS Team on the pending Senatorial Elections in Liberia and has sought the organization's support and involvement in the process, adding that in order to enhance the credibility and transparency of the senatorial election, the President has requested ECOWAS to send field observers to monitor the elections.
The Liberian President also congratulated ECOWAS' delegation for its pivotal role in the political crisis in Burkina Faso which has helped restored peace and brought about the formulation of a civilian led transitional Government that was sworn in Tuesday November 18, 2014, headed by that country's former Foreign Minister.
Liberia's Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan who spoke at the media briefing, lifted praises to the visiting dignitaries and said the delegation had productive discussions with President Johnson Sirleaf primarily on the Ebola crisis and extended ECOWAS' solidarity to the Government and People of Liberia for the loss sustained, at the same time reaffirming its support to the fight against the Ebola virus in the region.
The Liberian Foreign Minister added that since the outbreak ECOWAS has played an active role in the fight with full commitments of funding and humanitarian assistance towards the Ebola response through ECOWAS Trust Fund, disclosing that ECOWAS has put together Ebola Response Team with member countries contributing to the Trust Funds on Ebola.
Speaking also during the press stake-out, the ECOWAS Commission Head Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo expressed ECOWAS' deep solidarity with the Government and People of Liberia especially the bereaved families for the loss sustained as a consequence of the deadly Ebola epidemic. “We are here to show solidarity with the Government and people of Liberia for the courageous fight against Ebola”, he remarked.
While expressing gratitude to President Sirleaf and her Government for the efforts against Ebola and for the audience and warm reception accorded them during the stay, the ECOWAS Commission's President spoke on the outcome of the just ended ECOWAS' Summit held in Accra on the Ebola crisis that is ravaging the sub region.
He disclosed that ECOWAS Heads of State and Government have decided to get involved in the fight and have appointed the Togolese President as the Organization's direct representative on the Ebola crisis in West Africa. He added that ECOWAS has decided to get involved in the battle against Ebola with the aim to bring the epidemic to an end.
According to him, ECOWAS additional 1 million donation towards the fight has been channeled through the ECOWAS Trust Fund on Ebola to augment the contributions made by member states to aid the Ebola response in West Africa.
Mr. Ouedraogo said since the outbreak, ECOWAS has been active on the ground and has deployed personnel to help in the fight in the three countries.
“Let me also express our sincere condolences to all bereaved families of those who died of Ebola, and the victims of this epidemic and express our wish for their speedy recovery, we are here to show solidarity to the Government and people of Liberia for the fight against Ebola, and would like to thank Madam President for this courageous fight, the ECOWAS president declared”.
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas lauded President Sirleaf for the leadership quality being provided during the outbreak and hailed the resilience of the people of Liberia in combating the disease, calling on the citizens to go extra miles in taking precautionary measures to end the fight against Ebola. Dr. Chambas who represents the UN Secretary General in the region, stressed that the UN will collaborate with ECOWAS and affected countries in combating the disease.