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Pres. Sirleaf receives delegates from Germany, IFRC

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The New Dawn LiberiaPresident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has received in audience, the Ebola Coordinator of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador Johannes Lindner, and the Director of the African Zone of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), Mr. Alasan Senghore, accompanied by a delegation of the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS).

The Executive Mansion says during the meeting, President Sirleaf acknowledged Germany’s commitment in helping Liberia and other countries eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease and restore the sub-region to normalcy.

The Liberian leader held separate discussions with the two delegations at her Foreign Ministry Office on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.

She informed Germany’s Ebola Coordinator that his country could be more helpful in their intervention by strengthening and capacitating community-based healthcare services, including eradication of the Ebola virus disease, restoration of healthcare delivery services and an economic recovery program as core issues during this period.

The President noted that Germany has always stood by Liberia, dating as far back as the time of the country’s independence and noted the Liberia’s donor conference held in Berlin, Germany at the inception of her administration in 2006. “Germany,” she said, “has been even more helpful in supporting the country’s energy and power sectors.”

She thanked Ambassador Lindner for accepting to come to Liberia at such an unpleasant time in the country’s history. “This is a clear show of solidarity that reflects that Germany still stands by Liberia in its time of distress,” President Sirleaf emphasized. Responding, the German Ebola Coordinator presented compliments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and expressed how gravely concerned, she is about the Ebola situation in Liberia.

Ambassador Lindner informed President Sirleaf that he was in Liberia to assess the situation, inquire as to how Germany can be of more help and join the fight to end the ravaging Ebola outbreak. “We will help Liberia to promote stability, rebuild the broken health system and deploy some members of the German military to work alongside the German Red Cross team in Liberia that will support containing the further spread of the Ebola virus disease.”

He noted that Germany has spent an initial €17million through the humanitarian non-governmental organization, Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) and the Red Cross and is resolved to do more including direct help to the government.

The Ambassador indicated that over 3000 volunteers signed-up initially in Germany for assignment in Liberia, but based on the standards set, over 300 personnel including 250 from the military and 75 from the German Red Cross are ready for deployment in Liberia. He disclosed that Germany is taking over the management of the Ebola Treatment Unit at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex vicinity in Paynesville when completed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In a related development, a delegation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) led by the Organization’s African Zone Director, Alasan Senghore, also paid a courtesy call on President Sirleaf.

The Liberian President welcomed the Red Cross delegation and stressed that her government will always encourage friends who come to the aid of the country at all times.  She acknowledged that the Red Cross has been an active member of the partners’ family and has done very well in providing humanitarian support to Liberians.

“The government will help to tell the good news of the accomplishments of the Red Cross and you must feel free to engage government on how we can work together at all times,” President Sirleaf urged.

Director Senghore said he was in Liberia on behalf of the Secretary-General of the IFRC to assess the situation and show solidarity to the Liberian people. He outlined the support of the International Red Cross family to Liberia including the National Red Cross Society.

Other members of the Director Senghore delegation that met with President Sirleaf included: Montserrado County District No. 1 Representative Josephine Francis, also a member of the Board of the LNRCS; LNRCS president, Emmanuel O. Kparh; secretary-general, Fayiah Tamba; and IFRC Country Representative, Mesfin Abay.

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