OCTOBER 21, 2014 By Victoria Saffa
About one hundred United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) experts are expected in Freetown to assess the current economic impact of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, according to Assistant Secretary-General of UNDP in New York, Magdy Martinez-Soliman, over the weekend.
Mr. Soliman, who recently made a visit to the country, disclosed that the 100-man team will be supporting every effort by the government to make sure that the outbreak does not cripple the country’s fledging economy. He noted that a lot of hard work needed to be done and that reinforcement would come from across the globe to bolster those already on the ground.
He said the team would work with the most vulnerable people as well as analyse the economic impact of the outbreak on the nation, the country’s resilience and recovery, and also measure and provide evidence of where and who are suffering most from the outbreak so that the organization will proffer proper economic response for the nation.
Martinez-Soliman also noted that the UNDP intends to work on providing Ebola treatment centres with biomedical waste hazard solution as an essential health service, as they are presently being disposed in public without much protection.
He promised to provide more equipment toward the burning process, adding that the 100-man team will look at post Ebola issues like providing safety nets for the ageable and other vulnerable people in society.
He explained that since the Ebola outbreak was confirmed in May, the UNDP has been adequately helping the government with financial, technical and human resource support.
At present, the organization has deployed community workers that are conducting massive awareness raising in communities in Freetown, as well as provide other financial and technical support to vulnerable people in society, including the commercial motorbike riders and market women who respectively make up the bulk of the youth and women population.