The chief executive officers (CEOs) of 11 companies operating in the Ebola-affected countries within the West African sub-region have observed that a larger coordinated global effort is required to tackle the Ebola virus outbreak in the region. African Mining Services ArcelorMittal, Aureus Mining Inc., Dawnus Group, Golden Veroleum Liberia, Hummingbird Resources Plc, IAMGOLD Corporation, London Mining Plc, MonuRent, Newmont Mining Corporation and Randgold CEOs observed on September 8, 2014 the global community has a strong track record in responding to natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.
“We need a similar strength of resolve to tackle an epidemic that has the potential to cause great harm to this region.” They urged the international community to pool its resources and lend support to help reverse the virus and enable post-conflict Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to recover as swiftly as possible from dealing with the epidemic.
The CEOs observed that there is a risk the measures being taken to restrict travel to countries most impacted by the virus will aggravate the growing humanitarian crisis.
“Ebola is without doubt a horrific virus. But it is a virus that with the right understanding, precautions and processes in place should be avoidable and containable. That’s why we are calling for the immediate opening of humanitarian and economic corridors to the affected countries and urge the international community to respect the ECOWAS and the African Union’s call to lift any travel bans in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation,” the CEOs added.
They warned of catastrophic consequences for the affected economies if the international community fails to land the needed support to fight and defeat the Ebola virus.
The CEOs expressed concern about the impact of the Ebola virus on affected countries’ economies and the well-being of their people, which, they observed, is being compounded by subsequent decisions and actions that affect travel to and trade with the region.
The CEOs noted that their companies have made long term commitments to these countries and their people and “we intend to honor that commitment.” “We have strong ties to hundreds of local communities that depend on our operations.
“Despite the challenging environment, we are continuing where possible with normal operations, with the health and safety of our employees being the absolute priority at all times. We have enormous respect for the organizations and selfless individuals working to contain this outbreak and are committed to support them and the governments concerned to bring the epidemic to an end,” the CEOs sated.
CEOs that signed the statement are: Mr. John Kavanagh of African Mining Services, Lakshmi Mitta of ArcelorMittal, David Reading of Aureus Mining Inc., Bob Jones of Dawnus Group and David Rothschild of Golden Veroleum Liberia signed the statement. Others are Dan Betts of Hummingbird Resources Plc, Stephen J. J. Letwin of IAMGOLD Corporation, Graeme Hossie of London Mining Plc, Tony Carr of MonuRent , Gary Goldberg of Newmont Mining Corporation and Mark Bristow of Randgold.
Our business desk has meanwhile observed that expatriates contractors for most of these companies have declared force majeure and left the sub-region due to the virus outbreak.
The Ebola virus has killed over 2,200 people in four countries in West Africa name: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria and infected over 4,000 people in the four countries, said WHO.