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Prez Sirleaf lauds Norway, US Governments for goodwill

By Patrick Flomo
US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

( 15, 2014)-President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has praised the Governments of Norway and the United States of America for identifying with Liberia during its current devastating health crisis.

President Johnson-Sirleaf described the two governments’ interventions in Liberia’s current health crisis as strong bilateral relationship between Liberia and the two countries.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian President made the commendation Tuesday, October 14, 2014 when the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Borge Brende, and USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah, met with her at her Foreign Ministry office in Monrovia.

She said: “My government is pleased with the partnership with the two countries and expressed optimism that Liberia’s relationship with Norway and the US would go a long way in rebuilding the country’s health sector, overly stressed by the Ebola pandemic.”

In separate remarks, Messrs. Brende and Shah pledged their respective Governments’ support to Liberia’s Ebola fight.

They also assured the President that their governments will provide Liberia adequate financial and material support in fight against the Ebola Virus.

The release further quotes the Norwegian Foreign Minister and USAID Administrator as saying: “Our respective governments see the Ebola crisis not only as a Liberian problem, but a global crisis.”

Messrs. Brende and Shah spoke at a joint news conference in the Foreign Ministry’s foyer, following their recent meeting with the Liberian President.

They renewed calls for more global support to eradicate the killer virus from the three Ebola-affected West African nations.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Brende said: “My government has released US$60m for West Africa since the deadly disease outbreak and an additional US$15m, through the World Health Organization (WHO), for the affected countries.”

He also disclosed that 160 doctors from Norway have already signed up for deployment to the West African sub-regional countries, including Liberia.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister further revealed that his country will provide Liberia military transport in the form of logistical support to enhance on-going efforts to eradicate the epidemic from the country.

“Norway saw it as a responsibility to reach out to Liberia, due to the long-standing relationship between the two countries.”

Also speaking at the news conference, USAID Administrator Shah told journalists that the US Government has put into place significant measures, including finances, to help contain the spread of the Ebola Virus.

He also said: “The US Government has approved and begun spending US$400m, with over 600 staff of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in the country working along with USAID to support Liberia.”

“The US Government, through USAID, will give US$5m as further assistance to the Liberian Government’s compensation scheme for health-care workers in the country,” the release quotes the USAID Administrator as saying.

He, however, noted: “The amount is part of the US$142m “critical” support to Liberia in its fight against Ebola.”

“Out of the US$142m, US$65m would be targeted towards training, community-based engagements and the construction of care centers across Liberia,” Mr. Shah added in the release.


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