As the Liberian Government begins to think about strategies that will lead to the recovery of the country’s feeble economy following the Ebola outbreak, two newly accredited ambassadors have promised on behalf of their respective governments and institutions to help Liberia revive.
The two ambassadors are Tiina Intelmann of the European Union (EU) and Japan’s Kaoru Yoshimura. They gave the assurances on Monday when they presented their letters of credence to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry.
Ambassador INTELMANN who succeeds Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, said “The EU’s attention is now focused on plans for the post-Ebola period to help the country get back on its feet and continue the political dialogue started long before the crisis.”
Even though she warned Liberians not to show complacency and to focus on taking precautions against Ebola, Ambassador Intelmann expressed excitement that the disease was already behind the country and she is looking up to the Government of Liberia to disclose plans leading to the country’s recovery process.
European Union is one of Liberia’s partners that poured millions of dollars in cash and kind to fight the Ebola virus, and some of its officials who visited the country promised to help address the post-Ebola challenges.
Prior to Ebola, EU was assisting Liberia in the forest, education, energy and health sectors.
Except for the forest sector, education and health have serious challenges to address, and the EU’s intervention in these areas will be quite essential to Liberia as government strives to restore them.
Ambassador Kaoru Yoshimura, in a statement while presenting his letter of credence, assured that his country remains supportive in helping Liberia reach zero case of Ebola, emphasizing that Japan stands ready to support the country’s development plans.
Japan has been partnering with Liberia in the Agriculture sector, providing clean rice to be sold to purchase seed rice for planting.
Liberia looks at Japan with an eager eye now to begin the pending Somalia Drive road construction for which a US$50 million grant agreement was signed about a year and a half ago.
Liberia and Japan’s bilateral relationship is based on commercial interest. As Liberia under this umbrella looks toward receiving a development package from Japan, Japan itself is interested in exporting its manufacturing and industrial products, including the popular Toyota and Datsun automobiles and electrical materials to Liberia for sale.
President Sirleaf, receiving the letters of credence from the two diplomats, welcomed them and acknowledged their assistance to the country during the Ebola crisis.
Meanwhile, assistance pledged by the two Ambassadors adds to promises made by the United States and China to help build Liberia’s broken health system.
It may be recalled that during the heat of the Ebola pandemic, China and United States came after each other with plans to rebuild Liberia’s health system as the epidemic badly exposed its weakness.