October 23, 2015 By Abdul Karim Koroma in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU) Wednesday, 21 October participated in a session convened by the pan-African body to brief Member States, development partners and the diplomatic community about the current state of the Ebola outbreak in the three most affected countries.
Ambassador Osman Keh Kamara commended the Commission for convening the session and stated inter alia that the establishment of the African Union Support to Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA), with specific mandate to mobilise health workers across the continent and deploy them in the affected countries, could be described as the climax of the Commission’s efforts in the fight against the scourge.
He was speaking at the 553rd Meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) held at the African Union Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he informed the session that Sierra Leone has clocked Day 25 of the national countdown to 42 days when the world shall declare the country Ebola-free.
Ambassador Kamara further expressed gratitude, on behalf of the People and Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone, for the innovative initiative undertaken by the Commission. He expressed similar sentiments to development partners, donors and the international community for their support role in combating the spread of the virus. He pointed out that the Ebola epidemic has devastated the economies of the three main affected countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – and destroyed their respective health systems, adding that massive investment is needed in the three countries for socio-economic recovery.
He reminded the PSC about funds pledged by Member States, financial institutions, development partners, donors and the international community for Post–Ebola Recovery efforts. He stated that the alignment of these funds to the national priorities of these countries and their timely delivery would help drive socio-economic recovery as well as make improvements in their health systems. He beseeched the Council to collaborate with Member States, the donor community, development partners and the wider international community for effective delivery of these pledges.
Representatives of China, the United States of America, France and the European Union reaffirmed their commitments to the Ebola recovery efforts.