UN: UNDP chief begins West Africa visit focused on Ebola recovery

New York, US (PANA) - UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark has commenced a one-week visit to West Africa, with stops in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where there have been almost 23,000 reported Ebola cases with over 9,000 reported deaths.

The UN announced in New York on Thursday that Ms. Helen's tour was aimed at leading the UN system-wide Ebola-related recovery effort.

It said the visit would affirm the continued commitment of the UN to addressing the Ebola crisis, and support for the recovery process, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had tasked UNDP to lead the UN system on Ebola-related recovery.

As part of the overall response, UNDP’s recovery initiatives are focused on four pillars: economic opportunities and jobs, recovery of the health system; resilient governance for recovery, peace and stability and risk management to deal with any future outbreaks.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO), in its latest update, reported that the number of new cases of Ebola in West Africa rose for the second straight week.

WHO also noted that the fatality rate among hospitalised cases remains high, between 53 per cent and 60 per cent.

"The spike in cases in Guinea and continued widespread transmission in Sierra Leone underline the considerable challenges that must still be overcome to get to zero cases,"
WHO said.

However, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) said that Liberia had continued to report a low number of new cases and has announced that schools will be reopened on 2 March.

In a related development, UNMEER reported that a new study by UNDP shows that "women have been disproportionately affected by the Ebola virus because they serve as family caregivers and health workers, take part in traditional practices and rituals, and trade across borders where they come into contact with many people."

"The disparities are most visible in Guinea’s most affected areas. In Gueckedou, for instance, women represent 62 percent of the infected, and in Telemile, 74 per cent," according to the UNDP study cited by the UN mission report.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 12Feb2015

12 february 2015 05:50:02

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