The European Union (EU) has invited President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to co-chair a High Level Conference on Ebola and she will be speaking as spokesperson for the Mano River Union (MRU). The Presidents and Ministers of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Togo as well as representatives of the African Union Commission, the UN, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the European Union will all be attending at the very highest level.
The Conference is taking place at the historic Egmont Palace, Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 and is to be attended by Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium.
The main focus of the Conference is to maintain current efforts of preventing the spread of the Ebola virus and to also put in place a plan to help Liberia and the other main African countries to recover now, but also to plan for the future.
During this High Level Conference, the 11th European Development Fund National Indicative Programme for Liberia 2014-2020 will be signed between Liberia and the EU. This is the most important support programme of the EU to Liberia for the coming years. This Fund is allocating EUR 279 million (USD 326 million at current rate of exchange) to Liberia, which will be divided into the four areas of: Good Governance, Energy, Education and Agriculture.
The EU and its Member States have so far pledged around EUR 1.2 billion to respond to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
The EU Ambassador for Liberia, Ms. TiinaIntelmann said, “For us it is crucial to assess the priorities and envisage actions presented by Liberia and to find a way that we can all work together, in the immediate and longer term, for recovery in Liberia and in West Africa.”