By Edwin G. Wandah
Foreign Minister, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, has provided updates on financial and material assistance provided thus far by friendly Governments and humanitarian partners across the globe towards Liberia’s fight against the Ebola virus.
Responding to a request from members of the House of Representatives to provide them update on the number of donations coming to Liberia relative to the fight against Ebola, Minister Ngafuan told the lawmakers that as a result of frantic international engagements, the Liberian Government, has attracted numerous global assistance in the country’s bid to fight the virus.
A Foreign Ministry release says the Foreign Minister highlighted the President’s efforts, including written letters to significant members of the international community; including the Joint Communication by her and her Sierra Leonean and Guinean counterparts, Presidents Ernest Bai Koroma and Alpha Conde.
The release added that copies of the communication were sent to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Merkel, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as direct phone calls to other world leaders and partners.
Meanwhile, as a result, Liberia has seen direct assistance from the UN including its newly established special mission named the United Nations Mission for Emergency on Ebola Response (UNMEER), the arrival of over 3,000 US military personnel currently involved in the construction of additional Ebola Treatment Units (ETU’s) across the country, the direct involvement of the US-based Center For Disease Control (CDC), amongst others.
Commenting on the direct assistance attracted through the Foreign Ministry, the country’s chief diplomat informed members of the 53rd Lower House that the Ministry has been engaging its Embassies and Missions and friendly Governments across the world as a way of buttressing efforts of the Presidency in mobilizing international support to help battle against Ebola.
Addressing the lawmakers on Thursday, October 16, 2014 on Capitol Hill, Minister Ngafuan indicated that the efforts of the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry with other Ministries and Agencies have translated into huge support coming in to help deal with the Ebola outbreak.
Minister Ngafuan enumerated regional contributions in the fight against Ebola and acknowledged the contributions of Europe through European Union and member states, Asian countries, the Americas and the African countries and African Union.
He additionally lauded the European Union for the US$23 million budgetary support to Liberia and over US$200 million from European countries, including Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, France, Luxemburg and Netherlands.
For Asian regions, Minister Ngafuan extolled China’s multiple contributions including cash, medical supplies, personnel and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and food assistance valued US$4.9 million with a commitment to construct an ETU while recognizing Japan’s efforts of over US$25 million contributions in materials and cash with India contributing materials and cash valued at over US$15 million and other Asian nations following suit.