President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has applauded the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for continuing to be a true and faithful partner and friend to Liberia and Africa as a whole and for the many interventions in most of the country’s development sectors.
“Your troops remain part of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) while many young Liberians have gone to China for school with full support from the Chinese Government. The Jackson Doe Hospital in Tappita, as well as the new campus of the University of Liberia at Fendell; these are just a few of your numerous support to our country,” President Sirleaf noted.
According to an Executive Mansion release issued Wednesday, the Liberian leader made the assertion when she witnessed the signing and the Exchange of Notes between the Governments of Liberia and the PRC for over US$3 million in support of the fight against the Ebola virus disease as well as logistics to the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The ceremony, which took place in the Cabinet Room of the President’s Office at the Foreign Ministry, saw Acting Foreign Minister Sylvester Grigsby sign on behalf of Liberia while PRC’s Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue, signed for his Government.
As stipulated in the Exchange of Notes, the PRC Government is providing US$1 million cash to the Liberian Government; US$2 million to the World Food Program (WFP) for food assistance to Liberia; and US$211,781 logistical support to the LNP.
Speaking following the signing ceremony, President Sirleaf said Liberia is extremely grateful to the PRC for being there from the very beginning of the fight to eradicate the Ebola virus disease from the country, adding: “You were with us in this fight from the very start.
She assured the Chinese Ambassador Yue that the US$1 million cash donation to the Government will be channeled through the National Ebola Trust Fund and fully accounted for.
She expressed the hope that Ebola epidemic now plaguing the country will soon be an issue of the past and that Chinese companies in Liberia will again resume operations for the economic benefit of the nation and the people.
Speaking earlier, Ambassador Yue said he was honored to sign the diplomatic note for additional assistance to Liberia to support efforts to eradicate the deadly Ebola virus disease and acknowledged that the disease was spreading fast in West Africa which had become a threat to the international community.
Ambassador Yue indicated that the President of China, Xi Jinping, is very concerned about the situation in Liberia and West Africa and is committed to helping to solve it.
He emphasized that it is crucial to take urgent measures to improve the public health system, deploy more trained health workers, break the transmission chain and stop the spread of the disease.
“This outbreak has a great impact on economic development and social stability in Liberia and China is trying to do its part along with the rest of the international community to respond in stronger ways to stop the further spread of the disease,” Ambassador Yue stressed.
He indicated that the over US$200,000 logistical support to the LNP covers vehicles, motorcycles, communication equipment, among others, adding that Liberia has China’s political, moral and financial support in the fight against the Ebola virus disease.
The PRC Ambassador pointed out that stopping the further spread and eradicating the virus should not only be the responsibility of the African continent but the world at large.
Also speaking, Acting Foreign Minister Sylvester Grigsby expressed delight for the donation and lauded China for the over US$3 million donation.
He recalled the arrival of a special flight weeks ago with much needed personal protective equipment (PPEs) and supplies that improved the country’s response to the Ebola fight followed by the arrival of Chinese experts long before the recent escalation of the disease.
“We sincerely thank the Chinese for all they have done for Liberia and want to assure that the Liberian people will always remember the assistance and remain grateful, acting Minister Grigsby said, adding, “We also like to applaud the leadership of the Liberian leader in assembling leaders of the world in the fight against Ebola.”