Gov’t Signs LD$37 Million Grant Agreement

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Though the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease seems to be getting to the finish-line, yet global support continues to be forthcoming with the latest coming from the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

The Liberian government and her Mauritanian counterpart signed for the provision of a LD$37 million grant to assist in the fight against the Ebola virus disease. The signing ceremony took place in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia on Monday.

The signing of the grant agreement was part Mauritanian President, Mohamed Ould Abdul Aziz’s, two-day solidarity visit to the country. The Mauritanian leader is also the current Chairman of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government. He had arrived from the Republic of Guinea on a similar visit.

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Amara Konneh, signed on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while the Mauritanian Minister of Economic Affairs and Development, Mr. Sidi Ould Tah, signed on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, an Executive Mansion statement said.

Prior to the signing of the LD$37 million grant agreement, the Mauritanian President, in a joint press stakeout with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said his government would work with Liberia to consolidate the relations between both countries.

“We will work to consolidate the relations between our two countries,” he assured, urging President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to join him to further strengthen the bilateral relations that have existed.

President Abdul Aziz said that this Ebola challenge being experienced by countries in sub-region, and by extension the region, should consolidate African solidarity and mutual support toward each other.  He noted that though it has been a serious challenge, this will help countries in the region come out more determined to unite through our bilateral relations which had been very strong in the past.

He expressed his country’s support to Liberia during this very difficult period of the country’s history; and expressed the AU’s commitment and support to President Sirleaf’s heroic leadership and the unyielding determination of the Government and people of Liberia against the Ebola virus disease.

“You can count on the support of the AU and we are sure and certain that you will defeat this epidemic,” he declared.

The Mauritanian President noted the serious losses that Liberia is experiencing in both human and economic terms due to Ebola and used the opportunity to express his heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Liberia for their losses.

He also expressed his admiration for the remarkable and dignified attitude of Liberians in battling the disease, most especially the healthcare personnel of both Liberia and the AU who have come to assist their African brothers and sisters.

The current Chairman of the AU Heads of State and Government expressed gratitude to the international community for the support provided Liberia and the other worse affected countries in fighting the Ebola virus disease.

He expressed profound gratitude to the government and people of Liberia for the warm hospitality accorded him and his delegation during the two-day visit to Liberia.

Earlier, President Sirleaf welcomed the Mauritanian leader to Liberia and recalled the relationship between both countries which predate Mauritania’s independence.  She indicated that Liberia’s and Mauritania’s Heads of State have exchanged numerous visits as well as signed communiqués, cooperation agreements and protocols. “This visit gives us the opportunity to once again strengthen and deepen that relationship,” she stressed.

“The visit to Monrovia marked the first by the Mauritanian leader during her administration intended as a show of solidarity with the Government and people of Liberia in the fight against the Ebola virus disease,” she said.

President Sirleaf particularly thanked the Mauritanian President for the leadership he has exhibited as current Chairman of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union and the personal efforts made to mobilize resources to support the three countries worse affected by the Ebola virus disease.

“As a result, we now have 30 African health workers working with Liberia against the Ebola disease as well as received financial assistance that has been mobilized by the AU,” she recalled.

On behalf of the government and people of Liberia, President Sirleaf thanked the Mauritanian President for the bilateral support his government provided Liberia through the Memorandum of Understanding in the fight against Ebola. “Thank you so much for the support,” the Liberian leader said.

The Liberian President, late Monday evening, hosted a dinner in honor of the Mauritanian President at the Royal Grand Hotel.

He departed Liberia on Tuesday, January 6, for Sierra Leone in continuation of his visit to the three worse countries affected by Ebola.

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