Turkey, specifically the city of İzmir, have donated two modern ambulances to the Government and people of Liberia, through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
The fully equipped and modern ambulances are valued at a total of US$100,000.
The donation, which was made on Tuesday, January 7, in the main compound of the Health Ministry in Congo Town; in fulfillment of the City of İzmir’s candidacy tour to host Expo 2020.
Counsel General-designate of Liberia to Turkey, Lusinee F. Kamara, Sr., stated that in April of 2013, Turkey’s Ambassador in Abidjan, Yalanin Kaya Erencsay, and a delegation at the end of a ‘Candidacy Visit’ in Liberia promised to boost the health sector.
“The ambulances arrive in the country in fulfillment of that promise, even though the City of İzmir lost the bid to host the Expo 2020,” Mr. Kamara said.
The city of İzmir was one of four international cities that bid to host the Expo 2020. The Turkish bid had a theme of New Routes to a Better World / Health for All.
The City of Dubai ultimately won the right to host the Expo, bidding under the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”
The Expo 2020 is a Universal scale Registered Exposition time slot sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).
Turning over the ambulances’ keys to the Foreign Ministry’s representative, the Consul General designate stated that the donation is just the tip of the iceberg from the City of İzmir, and other cities from Turkey.
The Deputy Foreign Minister for International Economic, Cooperation and Integration, B. Elias Shoniyin, said the donation marks a milestone for the growing relationship between Liberia and Turkey.
He said the ambulances are in fulfillment of their request to Turkey, aimed at aggressively updating the health sector.
“We are happy for the ambulances which will be used to save lives and improve the health sector. We believe this will further enhance the bilateral relationship between our nations,” Deputy Minister Shoniyin noted.
For his part, Health Ministry Deputy Minister for Administration, Matthew Flomo, described the ambulances as the best ever donated to the country, and announced that one of them would be given to the G.N. Davies Hospital, whose patients are mainly women and children.
He indicated that the other ambulance would be given to another hospital yet to be decided.
He said that the Ministry has already responded to the donation with a ‘US$35,000 project’ from the Foreign Ministry, which would solely be used to purchase spare parts to maintain the ambulances.
“We hope to maintain these ambulances for the years ahead,” Deputy Minister Flomo said.
Meanwhile, in separate interviews, the Protocol Officer at the Health Ministry, Joseph Yarpkai and a Physician Assistance, asigned in Grand Kru, Titus Kettor, described the ambulances, as ‘mini health centers.’
Mr. Ibrahim Cuvoglu and Prince J.Y. Jallabah, both staff of the Liberian Consulate office in Turkey, said the Turkish donations are merely ‘minor evidence’ of the work that will be done, when the Counsel General designate is officially appointed.