The French Ambassador to Liberia, Joël GODEAU, has given assurance that France remains committed to Liberia’s post-war development and the fight against Ebola.
Ambassador GODEAU expressed the commitment yesterday when he turned over of a vehicle and US$80,000 to the Liberia National Red Cross (LNRC).
Speaking at his residence where the presentations were made, Ambassador GODEAU declared that, “The French will not remain insensitive or indifferent to the fate of Liberia and its people.”
He said the donation, given mainly by French companies in Liberia, was a demonstration of France’s response to President Sirleaf’s call to contribute to the reconstruction and development of the country. France will not abandon Liberia in this current trouble.
“The contribution of French businessmen is part of the very strong commitment of France, alongside the communities hit by the Ebola virus in your country, Liberia, as in neighboring countries including Guinea and Sierra Leone,” Ambassador GODEAU added.
Recounting other activities of France to the Ebola crisis, the Ambassador noted that from the beginning of the tragedy France immediately mobilized itself and established research institutes which first identified the epidemic. The work of these institutes is being used in diagnosing and monitoring the disease, and researching drugs and vaccines against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Although the biggest portion of France’s contribution to the Ebola fight goes to its former colony Guinea, Ambassador GODEAU noted that institutes and testing centers in Guinea have immensely helped Liberians who have contracted the disease in that country.
He also indicated that France has mobilized a bilateral aid of 35 million Euros and another multilateral extra aid of over 35 million Euros via the World Bank, the African Development, amongst others.
The donation on September 25, 2014 was a joint effort by French businesses operating in Liberia under the umbrella of the French Business Club.
Companies or business entities that contributed include UMARCO-Bolloré, CICA Motors, Renault Garage, DELMAS-Liberia Inc., Liberia Equipment Ltd., TOTAL-Liberia, Bureau Veritas, Salala Rubber Corporation, AGS Frasers and BIVAC International.
The head of the group, Jean-Michel MACIA, who also owns UMARCO, said despite the difficulties associated with commerce in the country now as a result of the epidemic, French businesses were still here to help make the economy stable to avoid more suffering for the Liberian people.
He praised the Liberia National Red Cross for what he described as “tremendous” work done and still continues to do, stressing that they were here to complement the institution’s effort to fight the Ebola virus by donating US$80,000 and a vehicle.
Vice President Joseph Boakai, in his statement acknowledging the French donation, noted that France is very committed to partners with whom it usually makes impacts.
VP Boakai began by extending condolence to the French Government for the killing of one of its citizens in Algeria by terrorists.
He commended the French companies for their donations and said Liberia will not be defined by the virus. Ebola will become history, he declared.