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US$650 Million for Ebola-hit countries

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaThe Government of Liberia has disclosed here that the three West African countries highly hit by the deadly Ebola outbreak will receive US$650 Million from the United States, the United Kingdom, and other developmental partners.

The three countries, which include Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, will receive the money in the next 12-18 months to help them recover from the Ebola crisis in the respective countries.

Speaking Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, Minister Lewis G. Brown said the Government of Liberia is grateful to the World Bank Group for the conduct of a successful donors meeting on the margin of international partners, announcing their commitments to the three countries which include 30 Million from the African Development Bank, 80 Million from GAVI, and 387 Million from the Global Fund.

He said priority areas for the US$650 Million will be strengthening health care system, frontline care Agriculture, Education, Cash Transfer and other social protection programs as well as lifesaving infrastructure such as, electricity, water sanitation and roads.

According to him, the new funds will also be used to develop a regional surveillance system across West Africa to help prevent or contain future pandemics.

Minister Brown noted that the Liberian delegation emphasized the importance of getting to zero to facilitate early recovery before the raining season, adding that the establishment of a set of cross-cutting priories includes infection prevention and control in every facility as well as surveillance and integrated data management communication system.

Brown said the establishment of essential services, especially services that will facilitate response such as maternal and child health, family planning, routine immunization and HIV or TB and malaria services for ongoing research to address new and emerging risks in Ebola.

Meanwhile, the MICAT boss says that development partners have committed to align their support around agreed country plans and priorities under the Leadership of national government with concrete mechanism for the coordination at country level.

He said as such, the Liberian government will continue to prioritize building of a resilience system which will depend crucially on increasing the availability and strengthening of pre-service, training deployment and safety of frontline health workers particularly in rural areas as well investing in reforms that expand the role of community health workers.

The Minister said the government is concerned about the recent incident that took place last week in Paynesville community where a police officer beat a bike rider before he was pronounced dead by health authorities, something which prompt motorcyclists to set the Zone 5 Police Station ablaze with many officers sustaining injuries.

He said the government encourages its citizens and foreign residents that such individuals who break the law will definitely answer to the law, saying, “For the Liberia government, we will make sure that remains the surest path to consolidating our democratic achievements and our peace, and because we have continued along this path of deepening the rule of law”.

By Lewis S. Teh

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