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UNMEER folding up

…capacitates institutions to continue Ebola fight

July 9, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi

Despite the deadly Ebola viral disease outbreak yet to be declared over in Sierra Leone, one of the leading organizations in the fight is gradually closing down its operations in the country.

Only yesterday, the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) donated 41 vehicles, laptop computers and other valuable items to various civil society and human rights organizations, hospitals, the Njala University and other institutions that have been very instrumental in the fight against the deadly pandemic to continue in their efforts to bring the disease to zero.

UNMEER Crisis Manager, Madam Bintou Keita, said they had held series of meetings to ensure that the appropriate organizations received the items so that they can continue with the fight, noting that even though the mission was gradually phasing out, all efforts should be made in the various communities, especially where the disease is still prevalent, to finally nip the virus in the bud.

Madam Keita noted that one of the fundamental principles for the formation of UNMEER was to fight the disease and to strengthen the capacity of local organizations, which was the more reason the items were being donated.

“We are giving out 41 vehicles, laptops, among others. People have been calling to know the status about their applications because we got a lot of applications from various organizations,” said the UNMEER Crisis Manager. “We properly examined these applications in line with some of the criteria for the donation of the items, because we wanted to make sure that the actual beneficiaries are Ebola fighters.”

She continued: “This is all about transparency. In fact a committee was set up to vet these applications and I am happy to be here today with those institutions that actually got the items.”

She admonished Sierra Leoneans not to be complacent in the fight against Ebola.

“It is very crucial that what we are doing today is part of our capacity building process,” she said. “You are receiving these items today not because the battle is over, and we hope that you continue with this fight, especially when there is now money coming for the post-Ebola recovery process.”

One of the beneficiaries from Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Marcella Samba, thanked UNMEER for their relentless efforts in the fight against Ebola. She said the disease has affected every sector of society, especially women and children.

She thanked the United Nations for their timely intervention in creating a unit specifically for the fight against the disease in the three Mano River Union countries.