President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the continuous support of India and its community in Liberia, especially during such a difficult period in the history of the country where it is plagued with the deadly Ebola virus that has claimed several lives.
The Liberian President also lauded the Indian community and their motherland (India) for their immense contributions to the commercial sector of the country, as well as for venturing into the industrial sector where, she said, more jobs will be created for many young Liberians to be employed.
President Sirleaf made the commendation on Thursday, August 28, 2014, at the offices of the General Services Agency (GSA) where a donation was made by the Association of the Indian Community in Liberia (AICL) to help in the combat against the dreadful Ebola virus.
The GSA compound presently hosst the command and support unit of the National Task Force (NTF) on Ebola. The AICL donated assorted Ebola related items worth more than US$200,000 to the Ebola NTF.
The donation consists of a wide-range of items including two ambulances, two thousand bags of rice, hospital beds, 24,000 bottles of water, household utensils, among several other items.
President Sirleaf noted that the Indian Community, through its honorable Consul, has always identified with Liberia-and has and continues to be of great help to the state through its commercial activities that is helping to strengthen the economy of the country.
She indicated that the epidemic is a challenge to everyone and as such it should be combated holistically, further lauding the Indian community for the donation, which she said will help enhance the work of the NTF.
The command and support center, headed by the National Task Force Coordinator, Dorbor Jallah, will take charge of the. She indicated that a true friend is known when one is in crisis — which has been truly exemplified by the Indians.
She said Mr. Jallah and his team will determine the most critical areas where the content of the donation will be distributed. She expressed optimism that the donation will make a difference in the lives of those for whom they are ibtended.
She pointed out that it is not just enough for one to sit on the radio stations, Televisions and make criticisms, but it is more courageous and patriotic to get out there and “do your part” as a citizen of this country. “If you do this and we shall have won this fight against the Ebola virus, it will be a victory for you and your country,” she said.
The Liberian leader admitted to short-comings on the part of the government in confronting the Ebola disease, which can be frustrating when the required results are not forthcoming, but said there are clear signs that the fight will be won.
“We need to combine forces to defeat naysayers. We will beat Ebola. I’m tired of hearing Ebola is real, I want us to now say Ebola will be beaten. If we win this fight we will win it for ourselves and our country,” President Sirleaf said.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf said that the level of support received from national and international organizations, multinational companies, business community and friendly countries and peoples, couple with the willingness and resilience of the Liberian people Ebola will definitely be defeated at all costs.
In making the presentation to President Sirleaf, the Indian Consul General, Upjit Singh Sachdeva, said the enormity of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in the affected countries has made fighting the epidemic a global challenge, requiring an effective global response.
Mr. Sachdeva, who is popularly known as Jeety, commended President Sirleaf for her extraordinary leadership in effectively and urgently responding to the outbreak and spread of the Ebola Virus.
He said the AICL notes with satisfaction the measures put into place by the government to stop the spread of this deadly disease. “Accordingly, we have advised all of our members to abide by these measures,” he said.
“The response by the international community, so far to combat the disease is very encouraging.”
“The current outbreak of Ebola in Liberia is affecting the country in many ways. It is affecting the people; it is affecting all communities in the country; it is affecting the nation, and it is also affecting neighboring nations.
The AICL boss said the situation has unfortunately led to neighboring and other states closing their air and land borders. This is severely hampering intra-sub-regional trade on which Liberia depends largely for the importation of some essential food items.
He said the AICL, as one of several communities in Liberia, sees itself as an important stakeholder in the Liberian society. “As one of the communities in Liberia, we too are affected by the disease. However, we see it our bounding duty and responsibility to contribute our quota to the fight to eliminate the disease in our second home, Liberia,” Mr. Jeety said.
The India Consul General indicated that despite the economic consequences on the business community, the AICL has advised all of its members involved in economic activities not to exploit the situation by unnecessarily hiking commodities prices.
“Today, we are pleased to say that they are in solidarity with the Liberian Government and people by being concerned of this outbreak and have vowed to do all they can to curtail this virus,”
“It is against this backdrop that we have come here today to present our donation as part of the national and global response to the fight against the disease,” he said.