EU Pledges Solidarity In West Africa’s Ebola Fight
MONROVIA, August 15 (LINA) -The Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union (EU) has pledged the Union's solidarity and support for the four West African countries experiencing an epidemic of the fatal Ebola disease.
It also pledged the Union’s support and solidarity for the health workers and international organizations that are doing their utmost to combat the disease in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The Council, which comprises the 28 European Union Member State Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Development, chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, gave the assurances after a meeting Friday in Brussels.
It said in a statement that the conclusions of the meeting followed “a strong intervention” by Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.
The statement circulated in Monrovia and quoted by the Liberia News Agency said the conclusions of the meeting would be a useful basis for EU further action in the West Africa Ebola crisis.
The Council expressed ‘deep concern’ about the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, terming it “the most severe outbreak yet recorded, having taken already more than a thousand lives.”
It also expressed the sincere condolences of Member States and European Union citizens to the African governments and peoples affected by the outbreak.
The Council noted the recent decision by the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare the Ebola outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, and called for “a strong follow-up and a coordinated international response which are deemed essential to contain and reverse the spread of the Ebola virus."
The Council indicated the EU and its Member States stand ready to maintain their support to the African authorities of the affected countries in the implementation of emergency mechanisms.
The EU has already committed 11.9 million Euros through ECHO, its humanitarian arm, and Member States have provided additional bilateral support.