The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) accredited near Monrovia, Zhang Yue, has re-expressed condolences on behalf of the people and government of China for the number of people that have died as a result of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia and the region.
He indicated that his boss, Chinese, President Xi Jinping, is very concern about the situation in Liberia and West Africa and is committed to helping to solve it.
The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), since its outbreak in the Mano River Union basin early this year, has claimed about 1,700 lives including 85 health workers in Liberia and over 2,000 in the region. Liberia has since become the hardest hit country among affected states.
This disturbing situation led Ambassador Yue to emphasize that it is crucial to take urgent measures to improve the public health system, deploy more trained health workers, break the transmission chain and stop the spread of the disease.
The Chinese diplomat spoke when the governments of Liberia and China signed for over US$3 million in support of the fight against the Ebola virus disease as well as logistics to the Liberia National Police (LNP). The two governments also exchanged diplomatic notes.
The ceremony took place in the Cabinet Room of the President’s Office at the Foreign Ministry recently. Acting Foreign Minister Sylvester Grigsby signed on behalf of Liberia while PRC’s Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Zhang Yue, signed for his Government.
As stipulated in the Exchange of Notes, the PRC Government is providing US$1 million cash to the Liberian Government; US$2 million to the World Food Program (WFP) for food assistance to Liberia; and US$211,781 logistical support to the LNP.
It may be recalled the PRC was the first world power to robustly contribute the fight against Ebola in the region when it airlifted medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment worth millions of dollars to affected countries.
Ambassador Yue said he was honored to sign the diplomatic note for additional assistance to Liberia to support efforts to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease and acknowledged that the disease was spreading fast in West Africa and had thus become a threat to the international community.
“This outbreak has a great impact on economic development and social stability in Liberia and China is trying to do its part along with the rest of the international community to respond in stronger ways to stop the further spread of the disease,” Ambassador Yue stressed.
He indicated that the over US$200,000 logistical support to the LNP covers vehicles, motorcycles, communication equipment, among others. Liberia has China’s political, moral and financial support in the fight against the Ebola virus disease, he added.
The PRC Ambassador pointed out that stopping the further spread and eradicating the virus should not only be the responsibility of the African continent but the world at large.
For his part, Acting Foreign Minister Sylvester Grigsby expressed delight for the over US$3 million donation.
He recalled the arrival of a special flight weeks ago with much needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) and supplies that improved the country’s response to the Ebola fight followed by the arrival of Chinese experts long before the recent escalation of the disease.
“We sincerely thank the Chinese for all they have done for Liberia and want to assure them that the Liberian people will always remember the assistance and remain grateful,” Acting Minister Grigsby said.
“We also like to applaud the leadership of the Liberian leader in assembling leaders of the world in the fight against Ebola.”
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has commended the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for continuing to be a true and faithful partner and friend to Liberia and Africa as a whole and for the many interventions in most of the country’s development sectors.
“Your troops remain part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) while many young Liberians have gone to China for school with full support from the Chinese Government.
The Jackson Doe Hospital in Tappita, as well as the new campus of the University of Liberia at Fendell are just a few of your numerous manifestations of support to our country,” President Sirleaf highlighted.
President Sirleaf, speaking following the signing, said Liberia is extremely grateful to the PRC for being there from the very beginning of the fight to eradicate the Ebola virus disease from the country. “You were with us in this fight from the very start,” the Liberian leader noted.