Guinea: France grants Guinea 100 million euros to combat Ebola

Conakry, Guinea (PANA) - France has granted Guinea 100 million euros to fight the Ebola virus disease that has killed more than 1,000 people in the West African country.

French president François Hollande announced the aid on Friday evening shortly after his arrival in the Guinean capital, Conakry, for a short visit.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his Guinean counterpart, president Alpha Condé, president Hollande said the aid would help buy materials to fight the disease and also protect French citizens against the disease which knows no borders.

The French president also said that his country would set up three new Ebola treatment centres in the southern city of Beyla, Kairouané in the east and Forécariah in the west, which would complete the four treatment centers.

These are in addition to the military hospital offered in mid-November in the southern city of Macenta, about 900 km from Conakry, where the first case of Ebola was reported in January.

The French government will also set up a treatment centre for aid workers from all nationalities operating in Guinea to eradicate the deadly Ebola, which according to the latest statistics, has killed 1,223 people out of more than 2,000 reported cases all over the country.

Bound for the Senegalese capital, Dakar, where the two-day 15th summit of International Organisation of Francophonie (IOF) heads of State and government will be held, president Hollande said that this would be "the best opportunity for me" to urge Canada and Switzerland, two francophone countries, to help another francophone country, Guinea, which is being ravaged by the Ebola disease.

President Hollande is visiting Guinea 15 years after Jacques Chirac in 1999, when President Condé, then an opposition member, was in jail.

He said that his visit, although short, had the main goal of expressing solidarity with Guinea and Guineans who were struggling against the Ebola epidemic.

"I have come to deliver a message of solidarity to Guinea, the patients, the aid workers who are taking risks and also to healthy people … I urge you to be careful to reduce contamination," he said, and called on all countries to avoid isolating Guinea, which was on the path for development, but now faced several difficulties.

President Condé announced that an office of the French Pasteur Institute would soon be opened in the Guinean capital to monitor Guinean researchers to enable them to quickly face epidemics in the future.

He said, without giving details, that France would review its debt with his country, which would also benefit from budget assistance.

"Hollande, (the first president to visit Guinea), has given the best example to the rest of the world at a time when a country, in the neighbourhood particularly, has closed its borders with Guinea," said president Condé, whose participation in the IOF summit had yet to be confirmed.

Diplomatic sources said that president Hollande tried to convince the Guinean president, who had expressed his anger at the decision of Senegal to close its borders with Guinea, to take part in the Dakar IOF conference.

29 november 2014 10:19:04

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