The President of Togo and ECOWAS’ head of the region’s Ebola Virus Disease Response and Eradication Process, His Excellency Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe has disclosed that the European Union has consented to host a high-level meeting in Brussels, Belgium for financing post-Ebola reconstruction in the three worse affected countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) on March 3, 2015.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Gnassingbe made the disclosure during a press stakeout following a meeting with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The Togolese President was accompanied on the one-day solidarity visit to Liberia by the President of the ECOWAS Commission Kadré Désire Ouédrago on Friday, February 6.
President Gnassingbe was asked to supervise the process following the endorsement of the Regional Integrated Operational Plan for response to the Ebola virus by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government during a regional summit in Accra, Ghana on November 6, 2014.
He indicated that at a high-level meeting in Accra, Ghana, which comprised all ECOWAS partners, on January 16, 2015, high on the agenda were pleas for the opening of all borders and the resumption of air services to and from Ebola affected countries; the establishment of a coordination mechanism at the level of ECOWAS in order to have a more efficient response to the epidemic; and consideration for post-Ebola reconstruction needs of the worse affected countries.
“We have found this coordinating structure at the strategic and operational level so that we can best utilize the resources in this fight,” he said.
The Togolese President said everybody knows that no sector of the economy was spared in this Ebola attack and experience has shown that in order to rise up, everyone has to get up very early and work hard. “We would like to say in periods such as these, we have to get up early and work late so that all our efforts combined in the reconstruction process can be more efficient and to the point.”
President Gnassingbe used the occasion to renew his solidarity and support to President Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia and on behalf of the ECOWAS Chairman, His Excellency John Mahama, say how proud they are of the Liberian President. “We would like to thank you for your leadership in steering this Ebola crisis,” he said.
He extended to salute to government officials as well as the entire population who joined hands with Government in fighting the Ebola virus disease.President Gnassingbe thanked the international community, most especially ECOWAS Member States who sent health workers and volunteers to the three worse affected countries that has made the difference. He also praised all those who survived the Ebola virus disease.
The Togolese President said though much has been achieved in the fight against Ebola, he cautioned Liberians to be vigilant and not get complacent. He assured the Liberian Government that ECOWAS will leave no stone unturned in getting rid of Ebola but will also pursue efforts to have the country return to normalcy.
In brief remarks, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Kadré Désire Ouédrago seized the opportunity to pay tribute to the vision and leadership of President Sirleaf and commended the Government and people of Liberia for the heroic and successful fight against Ebola which led to the positive results the country is observing now.
He said the ECOWAS Commission will remain in touch with the national coordinating committee and report regularly to the regional coordinator, Togolese President.
Earlier, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, President Sirleaf welcomed the two visiting dignitaries to Liberia and expressed delight at their being in the country to work with her and to demonstrate solidarity to the Government and people of Liberia.
The Liberian leader asked that the two dignitaries to convey to the ECOWAS Chairman, Ghanaian President Mahama her deep appreciation for all that the ECOWAS countries have done to support the country.
She promised the Togolese President’s fullest support in ensuring that his mandate will be carried out successfully.
To the ECOWAS Commission President, who has worked with the country on its development programs and continue to provide support as Liberia develops its post-Ebola reconstruction program; President Sirleaf appreciated the solidarity and friendship that he continues to show the country.
The Togolese President and the ECOWAS Commission President departed Liberia early Friday afternoon, February 6, in continuation of their solidarity visits to Sierra Leone and Guinea.