India Contributes $12M to UN Ebola Fight

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The Indian Government Thursday, September 25, announced a US$12 million contribution to the new United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to help it fight the deadly Ebola virus.

The Asian superpower said their donation is for the UN to help stop the deadly Ebola virus disease that has so far hit five countries, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal, in West Africa.

Liberia is the hardest hit among the first three countries, where the virus is ravishing.
According to a dispatch, the contribution was approved by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi just ahead of his departure to the US, where he will address the 69th Session of UN General Assembly in New York on September 27. 

The spokesperson of India’s External Affairs Ministry or Foreign Affairs said US$10 million will go to the UN Secretary General's fund for Ebola and US$2 million for purchase of protective gear to tackle Ebola.

The Ebola virus, which hit West Africa early this year, has killed more than 2000 people in the five countries. 

The UN Security Council has also declared the outbreak of the virus in West Africa a "threat to international peace and security". 

Security General Ban Ki-moon last week described the situation arising out of spread of Ebola virus as "unprecedented" and had announced setting up of UNMEER to put in place an effective response mechanism.

On August 28, the Association of Indian Community in Liberia donated to the Liberian Government’s National Ebola Task Force more than US$200,000 items, including two ambulances. 

Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has applauded the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for continuing to be a true and faithful partner and friend to Liberia and Africa as a whole and for the many interventions in most of the country’s development sectors.

“Your troops remain part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) while many young Liberians have gone to China for school with full support from the Chinese Government. The Jackson Doe Hospital in Tappita, as well as the new campus of the University of Liberia at Fendell; these are just a few of your numerous support to our country,” President Sirleaf highlighted to Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the assertion when she witnessed the signing and the Exchange of Notes between the Governments of Liberia and the PRC for over US$3 million in support of the fight against the Ebola virus disease as well as logistics to the Liberia National Police (LNP).

The ceremony, which took place in the Cabinet Room of the President’s Office at the Foreign Ministry, saw Acting Foreign Minister Sylvester Grigsby sign on behalf of Liberia while PRC’s Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. Zhang Yue, signed for his Government.

As stipulated in the Exchange of Notes, the PRC Government is providing US$1 million cash to the Liberian Government; US$2 million to the World Food Program (WFP) for food assistance to Liberia; and US$211,781 logistical support to the LNP.

President Sirleaf, speaking following the signing, said Liberia is extremely grateful to the PRC for being there from the very beginning of the fight to eradicate the Ebola virus disease from the country. “You were with us in this fight from the very start,” the Liberian leader noted.

Speaking earlier, Ambassador Yue said he was honored to sign the diplomatic note for additional assistance to Liberia to support efforts to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease and acknowledged that the disease was spreading fast in West Africa which had become a threat to the international community.

Ambassador Yue indicated that the President of China, Xi Jinping, is very concerned about the situation in Liberia and West Africa and is committed to helping to stop the disease. The Chinese diplomat emphasized that it is crucial to take urgent measures to improve the public health system, deploy more trained health workers, break the transmission chain and stop the spread of the disease.

“This outbreak has a great impact on economic development and social stability in Liberia and China is trying to do its part along with the rest of the international community to respond in stronger ways to stop the further spread of the disease,” Ambassador Yue stressed.

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