Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Liberia, Karin Landgren
UN Special Rep Briefs Security Council On Liberia’s Ebola Crisis
By Prince Nagbe
MONROVIA, September 10 (LINA) - The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Liberia, Karin Landgren, has said the U. N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) will strive to preserve the progress made during the past decade of peace and gains that are at risk by the Ebola crisis.
Landgren made the statement when she devoted her regular briefing to the Security Council in New York on Tuesday to the rapidly evolving developments related to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.
She told the world body that Liberians are facing their gravest threat since the war, adding that the speed and scale of the loss of lives, economic, social, political and security impacts of Ebola, are greatly affecting the country.
SRSG Landgren said despite extraordinary measures put into place by the government since August, which includes the declaration of a state of emergency by President Sirleaf and international partner’s response, the disaster continues unabated.
She told delegates at the Security Council meeting that Liberia has reported more than 2,000 confirmed, probable or suspected cases, including 1,235 deaths as at September 7 and that the actual figures are likely much higher as the number of new cases and deaths continue to rise exponentially.
The SRSG also disclosed that patients at advanced stages of Ebola disease continue to be brought to facilities that cannot admit them as four new case-management centers will be established in Monrovia with some 500 beds in the capital alone, but pointed out that this may not fully respond to the situation.
“The unprecedented epidemic requires a response beyond the capacities of any one actor,” Landgren stressed.
She added: “UNMIL and the entire UN system are fully committed to supporting the Government-led fight, which will require a massive, sustained and coordinated global response for an estimated six to nine months” she stressed.
Landgren said since late July, UNMIL has turned its full focus on the Ebola virus,
adding that the Mission has reoriented several of its operations to support the nationally-led response.
The SRSG named the mission’s four pillars of engagement and support in the fight against Ebola as security and rule of law, logistics, communications and outreach and coordination at the county and national levels.
She pointed out that UNMIL is taking every necessary precaution to protect its personnel from Ebola to ensure continued implementation of the Mission’s protection of civilians’ mandate and other core aspects of its work.
“This epidemic of unprecedented scale would challenge any government and any society and UNMIL has pledged to provide its full support, and continues to review the range of capabilities it can bring to ending this latter-day plague which must be stopped in its tracks, and stopped soon,” she said.