NOVEMBER 3, 2014 By Abdul Karim Koroma in Addis Ababa
Sierra Leone’s Chargé d’Affairs to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has said that his government is sincerely grateful to the member states of the African Union and other international partners for the latest show of support in terms of human as well as financial resources in the fight to combat the Ebola virus in the country.
Ambassador Ismael Koroma was speaking at the African Union Peace and Security Council Special Session on Ebola held on Wednesday 29th October at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He said that the devastating effects and impacts of the deadly Ebola pandemic are ravaging the people and economies of the three affected countries, thus giving rise to serious humanitarian crisis in the West African sub-region.
Ambassador Koroma informed the AU Peace and Security Council about the robust measures instituted in the last few weeks by President Ernest Bai Koroma in a bid to quickly defeat the Ebola pandemic in the country.
He said besides the earlier declaration of a State of Public Emergency in the country, the President has recently transformed the Emergency Operations Center to a National Ebola Response Center and re-assigned the Defence Minister, Major Rtd. Palo Conteh to champion the fight against the Ebola war in the country.
“The government has also contributed huge a sum of the national budget as hazard incentive to be paid to health workers at the forefront of this fight,” he noted.
The African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, also gave a comprehensive briefing to the Peace and Security Council on the Commission’s efforts to combat the crisis in West Africa. He informed the Council about his assessment visit and that of the AUC Chairperson to the affected countries.
The U.S Ambassador to the African Union Commission, His Excellency Reuben Brigety, and the Head of the European Union Delegation to Ethiopia were among top diplomats who also briefed the PSC about their governments’ engagement in the fight to end the Ebola crisis.