UN: UN, international experts begin Ebola recovery assessment in affected countries

New York, US (PANA) - The UN and a team of international experts have begun an Ebola Recovery Assessment (ERA) mission in Sierra Leone, as part of efforts to partner with governments affected by the Ebola epidemic to address the impact of the virus on affected countries.

PANA reports that the ERA mission is made up of experts from the European Union, World Bank
and the African Development Bank.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York said the mission’s aim is to work with the
governments of the countries hardest hit by the virus - Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea - to assess critical areas that would spearhead economic and social recovery in the post-Ebola era.

It quoted Mr. David McLachlan-Karre of the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone as saying the ERA is anchored in national ownership.

"Readjustment of some aspects of UN and development partner programmes will be needed to ensure that efforts to contain Ebola are not interrupted, while at the same time preparing the ground work for future recovery programming," McLachlan-Karr said.

The statement also sad the UN Country Team has been working on adjusting the results of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), an anchoring development work plan, to ensure that all country plans are in line with supporting the government eradicate Ebola and set the country back on the path to development.

It said members of the team met with Sierra Leone’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala Marah, who underscored the need to include all stakeholders in the ERA process to avoid duplication of assessments and resource mobilization efforts.

The leader of the inter-agency mission, Stan Nkwain, who is the Deputy Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at the UN Development Programme (UNDP), said the ERA’s four areas of focus – health, water and sanitation, infrastructure and basic services, socio-economic recovery as well as peace building are closely aligned with the government’s Agenda for Prosperity.

"As EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) is raging the region, and particularly in Sierra Leone, the ERA should go hand in hand with the EVD response, and especially enhance rather than distract from the response effort," Mr. Nkwain said.

The ERA mission is a result of consultations between the UN and the governments of the Mano River Union, following last December's visit of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 16Jan2015

16 january 2015 08:57:31

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