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EU steps up anti-Ebola support

The Deputy Director General for Development Cooperation at the European Commission EC, Mr. Marcus Cornaro Friday announced the EU’s financial aid package to Liberia towards the Ebola fight in the tone of US10 million, with additional packages for post Ebola recovery.

Mr. Marcus Cornaro (r) flanked by EU Envoy to Liberia (l)

Making the disclosure to journalists here Friday, September 19, Mr. Cornaro said at the end of the year 2014, Liberia could benefit 20 to 25 million Euros from the EU.

Prior to the press conference, Mr. Cornaro said he had discussed with Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning that support to Liberia could be accelerated in terms of preparing a new program which will allow the EU to contribute additional 25 million to Liberia in 2015.

During a meeting with key government officials here, Mr. Cornaro said she presented the EU’s support measures, particularly a recently approved 140 million Euro regional package to be used mostly in Liberia in response to the Ebola virus outbreak.

The EU announced that an approximate 10m USD was recently made available as direct budget support to the Liberian Government, focusing its support on providing the financial means for MSF, International Federation of Red Crescent Societies and WHO in their daily Frontline fight against Ebola.

The EU delegate has meanwhile, said similar thing is being done in Sierra Leone, as he announced a 15 million contribution for that country. He said additionally, eight to ten million is being processed from the humanitarian front in terms of contracting the Frontline actors in the fight against Ebola.

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Beside financial aid here, Mr. Cornaro revealed that the EU has been supporting the arrival of a contingent of medical doctors and nurses from the African Union, with the EU giving a contribution of five million Euros in this case.

Finally, he said about six to seven million Euros have been put out to mobilize available mobile laboratory in the three countries hardest hit by Ebola- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

He spoke of strong and continued EU support to the affected nations, assuring that beyond the Ebola fight, they will continue to build on some of the programs they have been carrying out here over the years.

“I also reconfirmed that we are acutely aware that we have a role to play internationally,” he said, arguing that it is the only disease that can be contained, frowning against isolating and stigmatizing the affected population.

He concluded that stigmatizing and isolating Ebola affected countries are wrong messages, and discouraged Ebola freed African countries and others around the world against such practices.

Speaking earlier, European Ambassador to Liberia Attilo Paciffic described the delegation’s visit here as a mark of Eurpean solidarity… to the fight that Liberia is now having against the Ebola virus.

Also speaking, the EU Coordinator of Ebola Dr. Philippe Maughan said “we’ve been supporting Frontline partners since the beginning of the epidemic in Guinea,” and assured that they will continue funding those agencies.

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