UN: UN chief to convene Ebola Recovery Conference in New York on 10 July

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday announced that he will
in July convene an International Ebola Recovery Conference, which will help mobilize
the resources needed to start early recovery.

"Next month, on July 10, I will convene an international Ebola recovery conference in
New York, it will address Ebola recovery issues. The epidemic that has affected more than
27,000 people, killed over 11,000 mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone," Ban said at
an informal plenary session of the UN General Assembly on Ebola response efforts.

He noted that "all of investments, all of the sacrifices and lives lost, and all of the risks that
the relief workers took would be squandered if the outbreak recurs."

"My appeal to you is clear: we are in the last mile of the response, but the job is not done.
We need you to persist in supporting the region in getting to a resilient zero cases and then
beginning to recover," the UN chief stressed.

As long as there are Ebola cases in any country in the region, he said, all of them are at risk.

"Overall case figures are significantly lower than early this year and last year,
but we know that setbacks can follow, and community engagement and active surveillance
are essential. Any lapse in vigilance could allow the virus to spread," he cautioned.

Ban added that the UN system will work with governments and regional partners to ensure
all investments in fighting Ebola serve as the basis for carrying out longer-term recovery
and for strengthening national health systems.

Also speaking at the meeting, the UN Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, noted
that "vast areas within each country have been free of Ebola for many weeks, and that
the green shoots of safe and early recovery have been planted and will contribute to the
tapestry of trust and confidence so needed by societies."

But also, warning against complacency, Dr. Nabarro said the World Health Organization
(WHO) estimates a 50 percent chance that the disease will recur and need to be controlled in the coming 12 months.

"The challenge facing us all is not only to end the Ebola outbreak, but to ensure a
healthier and safer future for all the world’s people, and we still have so much to do,"
he stated.

He said that next month’s planned Ebola recovery conference will be followed
by the African Union’s efforts to galvanize African people, their governments and their
business leaders in solidarity with the affected communities and countries at a 20 July
conference in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Mr. Peter Graaff, the UN Special Representative for the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency
Response (UNMEER), said that experience in Liberia, which was declared free of Ebola
transmission on 9 May, "demonstrates last mile of response is hardest."

In preparation for the rainy season, UNMEER has reinforced capacities in Guinea
and Sierra Leone, the World Food Programme has prepositioned supplies and WHO is strengthening national capacities including those in unaffected areas.

Stressing the need to step up efforts to devise new ways to earn the trust of some of the communities resisting outside assistance in their Ebola response, Mr. Graaff said: "When
local communities are engaged, we see dramatic improvement."

More than 11,000 people have died from the highly infectious disease since it began to
spread more than a year ago.

While, Liberia was declared Ebola-free on 9 May after 42 days with no new cases,
Guinea and Sierra Leone continue to record new transmissions.
-0-   PANA  AA/AR  2June2015

02 june 2015 19:12:07




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