Monday, 27/1/2020 | 1:24 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

International Response to the Ebola Crisis

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Belgium from October 25 to 30.  Ambassador Power traveled to West Africa, including the three countries most affected by the Ebola crisis, to demonstrate U.S. support for these nations and their efforts to combat this deadly disease, and to draw attention to the need for increased support for the international response.

In Brussels, Ambassador Power met with European Union and Belgian officials about international efforts to combat the virus and delivered remarks at the German Marshall Fund to discuss her visit to the Ebola-affected region and the need for a robust, coordinated response.  In her remarks, Ambassador Power said:

“…On September 18th, six weeks ago today, the United Nations Security Council held its first-ever emergency meeting on a health crisis. A Liberian man named Jackson Naimah spoke to the Council via video link from Liberia. Jackson works for Médecins Sans Frontières, and is a team leader in one of MSF’s Ebola treatment centers in Monrovia. He told the Council that he had lost a niece and a cousin to the virus — both of them nurses infected at work. He said that, as he was speaking to us, sick people were outside the gates of the MSF clinic, begging to be let in and treated. MSF had to turn them away, because they had no more beds. Jackson said, ‘I feel that the future of my country is hanging in the balance. If the international community does not stand up, we will be wiped out.’

You all are familiar with the statistics of what Ebola has done to Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. More 10,000 people infected. More than 5,000 people killed, nearly 250 of them health professionals. More than 4,000 children orphaned.

Given these stark facts, I’m especially grateful to you all for coming today. The size of the crowd here is a testament to the growing concern around the world about Ebola.

Having just returned from travelling to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, I have two simple messages for you today. First, the international community is not yet doing enough to stem the tide of the epidemic, causing devastating heartbreak to countless families and allowing a global threat to metastasize. Second, based on what I saw this week, the contributions that have been made by the United States and many of the countries represented here today have begun to save lives and offer the first tangible signs that this virus can and will be beaten.

We stand at a historic juncture. We face the greatest public health crisis ever. And we each have the opportunity to work together in support of the brave and determined people of the region to bend the chilling curve of Ebola’s spread and to end the devastation and suffering that it has wrought. To beat this virus and to produce the seismic shift upon which the lives of an entire generation in West Africa depend, we each have to dig deeper, and we each must conquer the fears that this epidemic has generated.”

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