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UNAIDS To Use Liberia As An Island of Hope- Regional Director Diallo
MONROVIA, July 29 (LINA)-The Regional Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) for West and Central Africa, Dr. Djibril Diallo, has disclosed that notwithstanding the slight increase in the prevalence rate of HIV in Liberia, they intend to use Liberia as an “Island of Hope”, for their Emergency Plan for West and Central Africa expected to be launched shortly at the UN Headquarters in New York, U.S.A.
He further disclosed that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been asked by the specialized UN Agency to serve as its Emergency Plan Leader for West and Central Africa. The meeting is expected to take place on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September, this year.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Dr. Diallo made the disclosure in an interview with journalists following a closed-door meeting with the Liberian leader on Thursday, July 29.. He said these regions need to have more attention if the world is to attain the goal of ending the pandemic.
According to Dr. Dialo, the emergency plan for these regions is intended to bring more focus on the needs of these places as it relates to the HIV and AIDS rate of infection.
Dr. Diallo disclosed that UNAIDS and the international community has asked the Liberian leader, who is the current Chair of the sub-regional organization, ECOWAS, for two reasons: “The need for political mobilization throughout West and Central Africa (25 countries and close to 65 million people) where infection rate is approximately 2.2 percent but still very important; and to mobilize the international community to come and respond to the needs of Westand Central Africa.”
According to him, they have chosen President Sirleaf because of the leadership role she played in the country’s fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, adding “and as President of Liberia, a tireless person, she gave visibility to the response of Sierra Leone and Guinea, not only in Africa but internationally.”
Dr. Diallo stressed that in the meeting with the President, he told her that his Agency intends to document the “The Liberia Experience” and put it at the disposal of not only West and Central Africa but the whole international community.
“The Liberia story needs to be told much more forcefully in the media, including local, regional and international media,” he said.
He indicated that his boss, the Executive Director of UNAIDS and United Nations Under Secretary-General, Mr. Michel Sidibé, highlighted the fact that at the height of the fight against Ebola, President Sirleaf was also paying attention to the response of HIV and AIDS.
Before his meeting with the media, Mr. Diallo delivered a Special Message to President Sirleaf from Under Secretary-General Sidibé.
The Regional Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) for West and Central Africa has been visiting Liberia over the last four days.
During his visit, Dr. Diallo also met with other key actors of the HIV response in the country; briefed them on the implications of the newly adopted political declaration on HIV and AIDS and presented to them the emergency plan for the West and Central Africa region UNAIDS is
Dr. Diallo attended a Ministerial conference on post-Ebola health reforms that is ongoing in Monrovia, and also held meetings with the Ministries of Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the National AIDS Commission. He met with the Association of People Living
with HIV and AIDS, members of the UN family including the Special Representative of the Secretary General Mr. Farid Zarif and the Resident Coordinator.