The Kingdom of the Netherlands and some of its European partners have brought into the country a huge donation of anti-Ebola materials worth over €3.6M.
The donation includes 23 containers of assorted medical supplies and drugs, 21 ambulances and other vehicles and a self-contained mobile laboratory.
The Dutch, in collaboration with other countries of the European Union including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Romania, and the United Kingdom, made the donation to the government of Liberia on Monday.
The donation was brought into the country by a Dutch navy vessel, Karel Doorman which, according to officials, will return before Christmas with an additional consignment of relief supplies and equipment for the Government and people of Liberia to support the Ebola fight.
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Hans Docter, welcomed guests for the docking of the Dutch Navy’s largest and newest vessel, Karel Doorman – A833 to Liberia to bring in medical supplies and other logistics for the fight against the disease.
Ambassador Docter, in his handing over remarks, said the Dutch Government was happy to join the fight against Ebola in the sub-region and feels that the world should isolate the disease and not the countries.
“We are strong advocates of open communication and open travel and that is what we strongly advocate for,” he stressed.
Ambassador Docter said the EU is greatly encouraged by the progress that Liberia has made in the fight against Ebola, noting that it has been a national effort where the Government and people of Liberia, with assistance from partners, have managed to bring the disease to its knees, though it is not completely gone.
“We are greatly encouraged by the progress made in Liberia, but we can only rest assured once the disease is eradicated in all three countries. Notwithstanding the progress we’ve made in Liberia, the disease is still growing in Sierra Leone and still not under control in Guinea or in Mali. So the risk of re-infection remains large,” he warned.
The Dutch diplomat said that his government is not only committed to the Ebola fight, but promised to remain with Liberia even after the Ebola crisis. “We will be with you even after Ebola, helping to rebuild the economy and helping it grow,” he promised.
“As soon as Ebola is under control, we will be back with a delegation of investors and a trade delegation to work out cooperation in the fields of agriculture, water and sanitation and energy,” he promised.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf praised the efforts of all partners and Liberians in particular that have played a pivotal role in the fight against the Ebola virus disease.
She recalled that between July and October 2014, the country was put to great test, but today we can praise God for what He has done.
She praised the critical role of partners in the fight. “We want to say a big thank you,” President Sirleaf said, especially to the government and people of the Netherlands and all the members of the European Union who heard the country’s appeal and have supported Liberia in the fight against Ebola.
“We owe it to the determination of the Liberian people who in the midst of all the difficulties did not give up. In the midst of all the criticisms, we remained focused. In the midst of all the attention we got in a negative way, we remained determined to fight this enemy,” said President Sirleaf.
She reechoed that Liberia has targeted the eradication of the disease by the end of December 2014. “Though it is difficult, if we try we can make it.
“When we set a target, it means that we remain focused on that goal and then you redouble your efforts. As you get closer to the finish line, you pick up the speed.” The President urged Liberians to give this last month their best bet to rid the country of Ebola.
The Madam Sirleaf indicated that the donations will help the government respond to regular health care needs, not only Ebola.
She expressed happiness at Ambassador Docter’s assertion that after Ebola is defeated, he will return with an investment and trade delegation. “That’s the final part of our process. We first treat the sick, improve our health care and begin our economic recovery that will create the jobs because with these, people will improve their lives.”
She said Liberia must use the opportunity of this crisis to make the country self-dependent and ready so that in case there is any other disease outbreak, Liberia will have the capacity to deal with it.