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UN Commends Nigeria On Supporting Ebola-Hit Counries

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NAN – The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, on Tuesday commended the Nigerian Government for its tremendous support to West African Countries hit by Ebola.

Ban made the remarks during a joint press conference shortly after his delegation concluded a meeting with the AU Commission Chairperson, Dr Dlamini Zuma, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The UN chief scribe had led a delegation, including the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong-Kim, and officials of the Islamic Development Bank, as well as that of the African Development Bank, to discuss the response to Ebola outbreak in parts of West Africa.

He said, “I am encouraged by the recent support and pledges made by some African nations, most recently Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo for deploying medical personnel to the affected countries.

“Regional solidarity is crucial; I salute their courage and dedication. I am particularly encouraged by Nigeria for their decision to deploy medical personnel and logistics to assist these countries after containing the EVD in the country.

“We have much to learn from the experiences of Nigeria and Senegal for being able to contain the virus.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigerian government had recently deployed 300 volunteer health workers to help in tackling the Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Nigeria had also donated $3.5m as part of effort to help the three West African countries in fighting the scourge.

NAN also reports that Ethiopia last week announced the deployment of 200 health workers to the region with a cash donation of $500,000 to the three most affected countries.

On her part, the AUC chairperson said: “We are greatly encouraged by the response of over 1,000 health workers pledged to date from ECOWAS, the East African Community, the DRC, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and others.

“This is in addition to the in-kind and financial support already provided and pledged by member states to the governments of the three countries.

“We call on other member states that have not yet responded to do so in the spirit of solidarity.”

According to Zuma, every African country must send health workers, no matter how small the number, because in the spirit of solidarity it gives strength to our brothers and sisters in the three countries, that we are with them in this fight.

She said the commission was collaborating with the governments concerned and international partners to raise the resources for effective deployment of the health workers to the three countries.

Zuma said the AU would be meeting the African business community on November 8 in Addis Ababa to mobilise additional support from the sector to reduce reliance on governments.

She said, “We are working with our African strategic partner institutions, the UNECA and the AfDB; we are also looking beyond the Ebola crisis to ensure that there are plans in place to enable the countries to swiftly recover and get back on track on the road to ensure development for their people.

“We just returned from a visit to Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, along with my brothers Carlos Lopes from the UNECA and Donald Kaberuka from the AfDB.

“We already discussed this matter with Ghana, the Chair of ECOWAS, and with Cote d’Ivore, who has already resumed flights to Guinea and soon to Sierra Leone and Liberia.”

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