The Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) has contributed US$10,000 to the government of Liberia’s Ebola Task Force (ETF) to help with the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country.
LBDI also made a separate contribution of US$1,500 to complement the efforts of Montserrado County District #13 Representative, Saah Joseph, who is using his personal ambulance and logistics to transport Ebola patients and victims to hospitals and burial sites. The bank’s donation is to buy fuel.
“The donation is intended to awaken the interest of everyone to join the government in the fight against Ebola. Ebola has no cure and so it is the responsibility of all Liberians to join and support the fight against this deadly menace,” said LBDI president and chief executive officer Mr. John B. S. Davies, III when he presented the checks to the Task Force and Rep. Saah Joseph at the Bank’s 9th Street Corporate office in Sinkor yesterday.
Mr. Davies acknowledged the efforts of the government and international partners in containing the virus and called on all Liberians to help in whatever way they can.
The Deputy Minister for Fiscal Affairs at Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), Dr. James Kollie, received the US$10,000 check on behalf of the government, while Rep. Saah Joseph was on hand to take delivery of the US$1,500 check.
The LBDI CEO used the ceremony to applaud Rep. Saah Joseph for his ‘heroic’ efforts in using his personal resources [ambulances and cash) to fight the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia and its environs.
“You will agree with me that Rep. Saah Joseph is making a very great impact in helping with the fight against the EVD,” Davies said.
The LBDI boss observed how the Montserrado County legislator is using his personal resources to help save lives and also educating a number of Liberian children in his district at no cost.
“I am a living testament of the efforts you’re applying in your district,” said the LBDI CEO. “You made us proud, Rep. Joseph.”
The LBDI president disclosed that his bank, in collaboration with other banks under the umbrella of the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) of which he is the current president, recently made available US$9,000 to the ETF to help fight the Ebola virus. “That contribution shows how much interest we have in making sure that the Ebola epidemic is defeated.”
The LBDI CEO also disclosed that as a Liberian-own bank, LBDI is helping the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOSW) in many ways in the form of services which include providing free of charge services for all bank-related services on all Ebola-related accounts owned by the Ministry of Health.
“No bank service charge, no overdraft interest, no monthly service charge, no payment for manager’s checks for venders and no instrument charge at LBDI on MOHSW Ebola accounts,” he declared.
“Ebola is a very difficult and troublesome disease that has plagued our nation,” Davies said. “And so we must ensure that this virus is put under control.”
He expressed the hope that the Ministry of Health will continue to make gains with the meager help being provided by LBDI.
“We know that Ebola is here; it is real and we know that it will take gargantuan efforts from the side of the government and international partners, but most critically, from the side of ordinary Liberians with regard to our attitudes to eradicate the EVD from Liberia.”
Receiving the check, Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Dr. James Kollie thanked LBDI Management for the donation.
“I see that LBDI has been a true partner to the government of Liberia in many ways,” he said.
The Deputy Finance Minister also expressed gratitude to the Board of Directors of LBDI, shareholders and customers as he took delivery of the check.
“I am aware that someone somewhere is going to pay for this amount and so I just want to express how gratified I am to see LBDI doing it again,” Kollie added.
He admonished people of faith to continue to pray for Liberia as the Ebola virus is dealing a deadly toll on the people of Liberia and the country’s economy. He also stressed the need for people to follow strictly all the rules of hygiene and other measures which the MOH has put in place, as cure for the deadly disease is yet to be found.
“The way we break in transmission is to not come in contact with infected people. Each neighborhood must be able to fight Ebola. When strange people come to our neighborhoods and we don’t know where they’re coming from, we have to be on alert,” he said.
The Deputy Finance Minister challenged the public to be on the watch for themselves, their families and the communities they live in.
“This disease cannot come to an end if transmission is not broken,” Kollie added.
For his part, District #13 Rep. Saah Joseph commended LBDI for the surprise donation and said it will serve as an impetus for him to continue to help save the lives of ordinary people.
Rep. Joseph noted that helping the people of Liberia is a duty for him as a lawmaker. “It is not easy out there right now,” said Rep. Joseph, “especially to fuel and service the ambulances I am using to help my people 24 hours around the clock.”
Rep. Joseph, who is Co-chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Banking and Currency, recalled how LBDI continued to help the Liberian people through various means.
“LBDI has always been there for the Liberian people, even at the level of the Banking and Currency Committee on which I serve as Co-chair,” he said. Present at the ceremony were LBDI Comptroller Mrs. Clavenda O. Payman and Acting General Manager, Mr. Johnson Baysawala.
Also present were LBDI’s senior vice president for finance Mr. Reginald A. Bropleh, and other executives of the Bank, including Lawrence George.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus has claimed the lives of about 1,900 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria with Senegal reporting its first Ebola case. The virus, WHO says, has also infected over 3,000 people in the five countries.