The influential American Senator, Chris Coons, has said that Liberia deserves the support of the United States at such a critical period that the country has endured following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Senator Coons, who hails from the state of Delaware, is a ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He assured President Sirleaf that the US Congress will make sure that Liberia’s situation gets better.
A dispatch from Washington D. C said Senator Coons gave the assurance when he met with President Ellen Johnson, along with key Congressional Leaders and ranking members of both Houses.
The Liberian leader was visiting the United States to show appreciation to the U.S. Government and people for standing with Liberia during the Ebola crisis.
Liberia has long standing historical, economic and social ties with the US that now spans centuries but practically, Liberia has nothing to boast of this relationship as the country still suffers from abject poverty and underdevelopment unlike its surrounding African neighbors that have historical ties with Great Britain and France.
Though many Liberians have accused the United States of neglect, others have said that the United States has done well in its support of Liberia, but it is corrupt Liberian government officials that have kept the country in the state of backwardness. In the wake of these arguments, is the fact that Senator Coons stressed the need for the United States to still do more as Liberia actually deserves American support. Some of this support needs to come in the form of rebuilding the healthcare system and power supply that will help to transform the country’s economy
The Senators and Representatives who met the Liberian President pledged to use their respective offices, influence and power to give Liberia the needed support to move from the fringes of Ebola to sustainable recovery and development.
The need for sustainable electric power for Liberia under the Power Africa Program was stressed by Senator Coons and other Congressional leaders.
“Power is of critical importance to Liberia’s recovery process. All the developmental processes in Liberia are hinged on the provision of sustainable energy supply and we are committed to helping Liberia meet this important goal,” Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said.
He said rebuilding the healthcare system and health infrastructure are also critical to efforts aimed at helping Liberia recover from the impact of the Ebola virus disease.
House Minority Leader Lauds Ellen
The US House of Representative Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, congratulated President Sirleaf for what she termed as her impressive leadership, particularly during the Ebola crisis.
“You are a true friend to the American people and we appreciate the special recognition accorded the late Congressman Donald Payne. Let me express our admiration for you and say how grateful we are for the progress made by Liberia in containing the Ebola virus disease,” Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat’s Minority Leader said.
Congresswoman Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi was the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as the House Speaker for the 110th and 111th Congresses, making her the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
Congresswoman Pelosi, who represents California's 12th congressional district which consists of four-fifths of the city and county of San Francisco, assured President Sirleaf that the U.S. will stand by Liberia as the country works toward reaching the zero new case level and the post-Ebola recovery plan.
“We can achieve this because members of the U.S. Congress have a fan at the bi-partisan level. We are very impressed with your courageous leadership, Madam President,” Madam Pelosi indicated.
President Sirleaf told the U.S. Congressional leaders that Liberia is back in business. “We have only come to say thank you on behalf of the people and in my own name for all that you have done for us, especially when we cried out for help and you responded in no small measure,” President Sirleaf stressed at the various meetings with leaders of both sides of the U.S. Congress.
She pointed out that the Government was glad that kids were now back in school, markets are buzzing again, the borders have reopened and the restriction on people’s movement are all lifted. She also indicated that most importantly, the spirits of Liberians are lifted and reignited in the hope that the country was now back to business and development.
She also spoke of the current state of the Ebola fight and about the country’s plan for post-Ebola, seeking the U.S. Government’s full support for Liberia’s recovery process now that Ebola is being contained.