ECOWAS Calls For Regional Solidarity Against Ebola




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Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh has described the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as not only a health emergency but a “destructive element” in the region’s march towards socio-economic development.

In remarks made at a forum organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to brief the international community on the Nigerian Government’s response to the epidemic, the Vice President said “this is a community challenge that can only be faced through solidarity, working together and integrating our responses.”

The disease has claimed more than 900 lives since its outbreak in the region in March 2014, with most of the deaths reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and at least two in Nigeria.

The vice president used the opportunity to convey the condolences of the Commission to families of deceased community citizens and the affected Member States.

He congratulated the Nigerian government for its vigorous response to the outbreak, adding: “We are saddened and grieved by the loss of lives from the outbreak and stand by any action taken by the Federal Government of Nigeria in response to the outbreak.”

The vice president informed the gathering, which included members of the Diplomatic Corps and other stakeholders, that a Solidarity Fund has been set up to enable the region combat the outbreak, as ECOWAS continues to work with Member States to defeat the disease.

He also expressed optimism that development partners would contribute to the Solidarity Fund.

As precautionary and preventive measures, he said that the Commission has suspended its meetings involving officials from Member States while its Lagos Liaison Office has been disinfected.

The Commission has also set up an inter-institutional Task Force to coordinate its internal responses with various measures also put in place to protect staff.

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