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Ambassador Power assures President Sirleaf

The United States Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) has assured President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the U.S. Government’s unflinching support to the total eradication of the Ebola virus disease in Liberia and rebuilding the country.

Ambassador Samantha Power said though Liberia had come through many difficult chapters in its history, the country was on track towards prosperity and deepening democracy until the outbreak of Ebola.

She noted that President Barrack Obama and the American people will work together to ensure that Liberia gets back on track and that America will see the end of the epidemic.  “We will beat this epidemic together and rebuild a Liberia that is stronger and even more resilient as it has proven itself through its previous difficult days”, Ambassador Power added.

According to the Executive Mansion in Monrovia, the U.S. Envoy made the statement when she addressed a joint press stakeout with the Liberian leader in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry following closed-door discussions on Tuesday, 28 October on the last leg of her tour of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – three countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.

She indicated that her Government recognized that the Ebola virus disease is taking its toll on the country’s economy, employment, health sector, education, and other vital areas, but stressed America’s commitment to working with Liberia through the long haul of getting each of those sectors back on track.

Ambassador Power said her visit to Liberia was an important period, not only in the history of Liberia, but US- Liberia relations, adding that on behalf of President Obama, she was visiting Liberia to demonstrate the U.S. Government’s support for hard-hit countries in their efforts to combat the spread of the epidemic and to draw attention to the need for increased support from the international community.

On what Liberians should expect in the coming weeks as the U.S. and the international community scale up operations in the fight against Ebola, Ambassador Power said Liberians will see many more concrete manifestations of the U.S. and international presence as prescribed in Liberia National Plan against Ebola.

She said that they are mobilizing along with the United Nations and the broader international community on behalf of Liberian Government’s National Plan against Ebola, which she described as a good and evolving plan which is adaptable as circumstances change.

Ambassador Power promised to join in fighting the fear and stigma that exists around Ebola, and to ensure that Liberians all around the world, including the United States are treated with dignity and respect.

For her part, President Sirleaf appealed to the international community to continue to see the Ebola virus disease as a global threat and that stigmatization, exclusion, restriction is not the appropriate response to this. President Sirleaf expressed delight about the U.S. Ambassador’s visit to Liberia to assess where the country is in the fight against Ebola virus.

She thanked Ambassador Power for the support received from the United Nations Security Council generally in promoting Liberia’s development agenda, peacekeeping operations which seeks to ensure peace and stability in the country, in helping to train the country’s security sector, and more recently her efforts to support the fight against the Ebola virus.

The Liberian leader indicated that based on Ambassador Power’s efforts at the U.N. Security Council, including the intervention by the U.S., international community and partners, she is a little more confident of the results from all of this partnership and cooperative effort that exists.  

During her one-day visit to Liberia, Ambassador Power discussed international efforts with the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the US response to the health emergency, representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

She also visited the field hospital being constructed for health care personnel who might become infected with Ebola in Margibi County and later flew to Suakoko, Bong County in central Liberia and visited a mobile testing laboratory set up by U.S. military at an Ebola Treatment Unit there.

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