New York – President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held discussions with a number of development partners ahead of the High-Level International Conference on Ebola slated for Friday, July 10, 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
According to a dispatch from New York, the Liberian President said the consultations were necessary to lay the foundation for international understanding of the challenges with which Liberia is confronted, inform about the government's strategies towards the recovery process, and more importantly, to rally meaningful support and assistance for the implementation of the country's Economic Stabilization and Recovery Plan (ESRP).
In a meeting with the Japanese vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Kazuyuki Najane, President Sirleaf thanked the Japanese Government for their contribution to combat the Ebola virus disease in the three worst-affected countries.
She praised the cordial relations subsisting between the two countries which dates as far back as 1970, and the ongoing mobilization to begin the repair and expansion of the Somalia Drive as well as concluding works on a ten megawatts generator which is expected to come online in February 2016.
President Sirleaf reminded the Japanese vice Foreign Minister of the need to establish their Embassy in Liberia so as to strengthen direct contacts between the two countries.
For his part, Mr. Najane praised the excellent leadership of President Sirleaf which was exemplified in overcoming the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia and pledged the Japanese Government's continuous engagements in the ongoing recovery and development of Liberia.
He used the occasion to invite the Liberian leader to the Tokyo International Conference on Africa's Development (TICA D), slated for 2016.
In a separate meeting, Hedge Fund Manager and Philanthropist James Harris Simon informed the Liberian President of the conclusion of arrangements to install two anesthesia machines in the country.
He identified the effort as intended to fulfill his promise made to contribute to the ongoing health sector recovery. The team from his foundation is expected to arrive in Liberia next week.
Welcoming the initiative, President Sirleaf said the action will help to boost the health care sector in Liberia and identified the Redemption Hospital as an ideal location for one of the machines. She encouraged private investments in the country's recovering health sector emphasizing the need to continue the transition from treatment to prevention.
At the same time, the Liberian Chief Executive held a brief meeting with the Under Secretary General and Executive Director of United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS, Mr. Michel Sidibe who expressed support for Liberia's recovery program and commended the Liberian Government and people for the bold and courageous stance against the Ebola.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf has paid a courtesy call on the Under Secretary for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Herve Ladsou, who expressed confidence in Liberia's transition process. He said the ongoing UNMIL drawdown testifies to the progress that Liberia continues to make in its development since the end of the conflict. He reiterated the decision of the Security Council to conduct the drawdown in a prudent manner to avoid undermining the gains made thus far.
President Sirleaf and the leaders of Guinea and Sierra Leone are in New York to participate in the UN-sponsored High-Level Conference to rally international support for the recovery processes in the three countries worst-affected by the Ebola virus disease outbreak.