Nigeria: ECOWAS, Partners to review Ebola response initiatives

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS and its partners are to hold a High-Level Coordination Meeting in Accra, Ghana, on Friday to take stock of various partner/stakeholder initiatives within the context of an integrated regional response to the Ebola epidemic in the region.

The ECOWAS Commission said Wednesday the meeting, the main objectives of which include acknowledging efforts of all partners, would provide an opportunity for the briefing of stakeholders on the status of the Ebola challenge with a view to drawing attention to the need for more coordinated action on the fight against the disease, and its elimination globally.

It said, in a statement made available to PANA here, that the meeting would be held under the auspices of the ECOWAS Chairman, Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama, and President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe of Togo, the Supervisor of the Process of the fight against Ebola in the region.

It will also discuss effective coordination of the Ebola response initiatives, provide a platform for information sharing on the situation in the affected Member States, evaluate the impact of efforts so far exerted on the fight, ascertain the role of the private sector, and define the functions of various partners and stakeholders in the fight against the Ebola epidemic, which has claimed more than 8,000 lives from over 20,000 reported cases, mainly in the region from March 2014.

The High-Level session will be preceded by one-day Technical coordination meeting by ECOWAS, WHO, the African Union, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), as well as EU and US representatives, among others.

At a special summit on Ebola in Accra last November, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government took a number of far-reaching decisions, including the designation of President Gnassingbe as Supervisor of the Process for the intensification of the fight against the deadly disease.

The summit, which also adopted the ECOWAS Plan of Action on Ebola, called for the strengthening of the regional coordination mechanism with synergy of actions between ECOWAS, the African Union, UNMEER and other partners, and the invitation of technical and financial support from all ECOWAS bilateral and multilateral partners.

In addition, the regional leaders urged the private sector, civil society, regional and international humanitarian and development organizations to intensify efforts in technical, financial and institutional assistance to the affected countries.

The Authority also called on relevant partners to prioritize the provision of anti-Ebola vaccines at subsidised prices to the affected countries, and the region as a whole.

As part of the initial coordinated regional responses, an Ebola Solidarity Fund has since been established on the directive of the regional leaders and financial assistance is being provided to the affected Member States from the Fund.
-0- PANA SEG/VAO 14Jan2015

14 january 2015 15:20:54




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