The Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General Development and Cooperation of EuropeAid (DEVCO), Marcus Conaro, has disclosed that disclosed that as part of the European Union (EU’s) intervention in the Ebola fight, the body will inject an additional five million Euros (€5 million) into the crusade.
Providing financial and material assistance to Ebola affected countries during these difficult times is the best way to demonstrate international partnership, rather than sitting to witness the death of more people, Mr. Conaro said.
The EuropeAid Deputy Director General made the disclosure when he paid a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry office last weekend.
He declared that the EU, as a long time and a strong partner, will continue to support Liberia in its fight against Ebola as well as in its post-Ebola recovery. One way the EU has demonstrated its engagement is to keep Brussels Airlines flying to Liberia, he averred.
Mr. Conaro further committed the EU to supporting Liberia’s long term programs, including education, agriculture and economic revitalization. He further pledged to push Liberia’s case at the United Nation General Assembly in New York.
The EU Deputy Director General disclosed that officials of EuropeAid have already met with the Ugandan General heading the African Union deployment to affected countries, Major-General Dr. Julius Faeki Okettathe, about how it is engaging the Liberian Government to eradicate the killer disease.
Mr. Conaro condemned actions by countries and institutions, especially African countries, which have decided to ostracize Ebola-affected countries as the result of the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. He followed the current Chairman of the sub-regional organization, the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), who is also the Ghanaian President, John Dramani Mahama, and other global leaders in this condemnation.
The EuropeAid boss said that the EU would rather help the world isolate the Ebola virus disease rather than isolate the affected countries.
He praised President Sirleaf for the level of leadership demonstrated since the Ebola outbreak, terming it as “exemplary”. He admonished her to keep up the extraordinary leadership she has demonstrated over the years and during this Ebola outbreak in particular.
Mr. Cornaro assured the Liberian that his organization will work with government and other partners to see that these projects are not stalled; and if stalled, resumed as soon as conditions get better, since they are greatly important to Liberia’s infrastructural development.
Responding, President Sirleaf termed Mr. Cornaro’s visit representing the European Union as timely and a boost to calls for an end to isolating affected countries.
President Sirleaf believed that the visit will help many people who have ostracized affected countries know that there are still safe environments to operate or do their businesses and that there was no need to pack up and leave.
She noted that the cause of the spread of the Ebola virus disease can be attributed to denial and strong family traditions; but assured the EU envoy of government’s collaboration with partners that have now taken full control of the situation and are now working to break transmissions.
The President expressed serious concern about the livelihood of the population, which she said could be affected by the outbreak. She welcomed the EU plan for post-Ebola economic recovery assistance, a plan which, she said, Liberia was equally working on.
On incentives for health workers, President Sirleaf informed the EU official that the incentives were now harmonized in line with the sub-region and would be announced soon.
The Deputy Director-General – Directorate-General Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid (DEVCO) was accompanied by head of EU Mission in Liberia, Ambassador Attilo Paciffici.