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UNDP pledges support to Ebola survivors

OCTOBER 13, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) last Friday (October 10) expressed his organization’s preparedness to establish a “system of support” for survivors of the Ebola virus disease, as well as families who have lost their bread winners.

Magdy Martinez-Soliman, who was in Sierra Leone together with UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, to assess the status of the Ebola outbreak as well as the United Nations’ and international community’s support to the three governments hardly hit by the crisis, told newsmen in Freetown that they are discussing with the World Bank, United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), bilateral donors and governments as to whether their planned intervention is in place.

He disclosed that the UNDP will be sending about one hundred (100) of their staff members from different countries to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia as reinforcement to help stop the pandemic and prevent the virus from spreading to other countries.

“We are in the business of hope. Our message is one of support, courage and belief that Ebola can be trashed, placed under control and eliminated,” he said, adding that they will also be supporting every effort to ensure that the outbreak does not become a crippling social and economic paralysis. “There is a lot of hard work, coordination and logistics to be done. The health response needs to kick-in and we need everybody to understand that this is a crisis that is more complex.”

According to Martinez-Soliman, the UNDP is also discussing the possibility of taking the lead in providing the treatment centers with bio-medical hazard waste management as personal protective equipment needed to be disposed of.

He maintained that there is no need exaggerating the seriousness of the Ebola crisis as everybody now knows how serious it is, but rather a time for actions and works.

“This is not the time for complacency and panic messages. If we coordinate our efforts and join hands, we will win the battle,” said Mr. Martinez-Soliman. “We will also be looking at the recovery of the economies of the affected countries through analysis and proposals of solutions of economic downtown.”

He noted that together with UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, they had also held meetings with President Ernest Bai Koroma, Foreign Affairs and International Corporation Minister Dr. Samura Kamara, parliament, UN agencies and the business community, among others, before visiting a treatment center.

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