Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan
Liberia Applauds US, Int’l Partners In Ebola Fight
MONROVIA, October 1, (LINA) - Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan has applauded the US Government’s decision to scale up assistance to the region, including its deployment of 3,000 military and medical personnel to build treatment centers and train health workers.
In an address to the 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, September 30, on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Minister Ngafuan embraced the US Government’s efforts to provide other types of much needed support to Liberia and other affected West African countries.
He also hailed the Security Council's adoption of Resolution 2177 which was co-sponsored by a record-breaking 134 countries recognizing the Ebola crisis as a threat to international peace and security and the UN Secretary-General's announcement of his intention to establish the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).
He also gave recognition to the African Union (AU)'s deployment of contingents of medical and relevant personnel drawn from across Africa to Liberia and other worst-affected countries, relaxation of travel restrictions by some Member States and the announcement of the resumption of flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone by Air Cote D’Ivoire within a week, and of Kenya Airways hopefully sometime in October.
He noted as welcoming and praiseworthy, the announcement of contributions and the airlifting of critically needed protective equipment and supplies to Liberia and other affected countries by many governments, international NGOs, corporations, and philanthropists.
"The expressions of solidarity have taken many forms and we are deeply grateful for all of them", Minister Ngafuan noted.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, a hopeful Minister Ngafuan then told the global gathering of the country's optimism to defeat the virus.
"Instead, President Sirleaf and the resilient people of Liberia feel that the Ebola epidemic has presented us with a one-option, multiple-choice test and that option is to fight back! And we are fighting back," he said.
Though he acknowledged that the road ahead may be long, curvy, and hilly, but with bigger, bolder, timely and sustained efforts on Liberia's part, buttressed by the international community, "we are sure that dawn will soon break on this long, dark, night occasioned by the Ebola Disease."
Meanwhile, on global extremist ideologies and terrorist activities, the Foreign Minister, on behalf of the Liberian Government, expressed increasing concern about their spread in the world, especially in Africa.
He continued: "Whether it is Al-Shabab in Somalia and Kenya; Al Qaeda in the Mahgreb or Boko Haram in Nigeria, the African continent has not been spared the deadly and destructive consequences of extremism.
“Additionally, over the past year, while peace processes were being consolidated in many countries in Africa, we have sadly witnessed the eruption or exacerbation of conflicts on the continent, notably in South Sudan and the Central African Republic," he said.