UN: Mission concludes visits to Ebola affected countries, presents recovery plan

New York, US (PANA) - The head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER),
Mr. Anthony Banbury, has wrapped up his visits to the three West African countries battling
the Ebola outbreak as part of UN's ongoing efforts to drum up international support in tackling
the deadly crisis.

A statement circulated at the UN headquarters in New York Monday said over the past week,
Mr. Banbury, met with the Presidents of Guinea, Sierra Leone and, on Friday, Liberia, in a
series of consultations focusing on how an operational framework for international efforts
could be adapted and implemented to best support the ongoing national responses.

In addition to his consultations with the leaders, he also engaged in a series of
meetings with national and international partners and visits to health facilities under
construction to hear and see first-hand how efforts to stop the Ebola virus are progressing.

It disclosed that a UN operational framework was developed in a high-level meeting of
senior UN officials and external stakeholders from the World Bank, the US Centers for
Disease Control, and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development,
and is designed to provide a UN response specific to the needs of each country while
maintaining the centrality of national ownership.

The statement noted that the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, each
of which has the final decision on the overall approach and strategy for dealing with
Ebola, have also national response plans in place and have been responding to the crisis for many months.

It, however, acknowledged that those governments provided input and direction on
the UN operational framework.

The UNMEER chief stated: "The framework sets out the step-by-step process on how
the UN and international partners could support the three governments on achieving
the overarching objective of assisting them to become Ebola-free."

He stressed the "immediate objective" of 70 percent of Ebola cases treated and 70
percent of burials carried out safely by properly trained and equipped teams by
1 December.

He disclosed that the UN high-level meetings on Ebola response were aimed at
providing him with the opportunity to learn more about the current situation in each
country so that, "UNMEER's resources are well-placed to be effective in the
continuously evolving situation on the ground."

Mr. Banbury also said the meetings with President Alpha Conde of Guinea,  
President Ernest Bai Koromaof Sierra Leone, and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia,
provided inputs and direction for the refining and updating of the operational framework.

"In addition, the plan would now serve as a guide to be followed by all UN agencies,
funds and programmes and form the basis for the UN Ebola Crisis Managers in each
country as they engage with their national counterparts,." he added.

According to the UN World Health Organization’s latest situation report, there have
been 9,936 cases of Ebola and 4,877 deaths so far.

But, despite some positive developments against the disease in Senegal and Nigeria,
which have been declared Ebola-free, the UN health agency has warned that some
countries may be under-reporting their rates of infection, particularly the three
most affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where the situation has
been continuously deteriorating.
-0-  PANA  AA/AR  27Oct2014

27 october 2014 17:11:51

xhtml CSS