UN agencies review joint support against Ebola as mission draws down

May 11, 2015

Liberia reached zero Ebola cases on Saturday May, 9.

Dakar -- United Nations agencies renewed their pledge to help countries affected by Ebola to reach and stay at zero cases, as the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) began to plan its progressive drawdown.

“This transition should not be a hand over, it needs to be a dynamic of transferring functions, resources, capacities and coordination to a country coordination where RC should be the anchor,’’ said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the regional head of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG).

UNMEER, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other UN agencies met last week to discuss emergency and recovery efforts in the wake of the mission’s closure. Each of the three countries most affected by Ebola-- Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – has come up with a transition plan.

The fight against Ebola is paying off. Liberia has now achieved zero cases, while Sierra Leone and Guinea are seeing their case numbers dwindle. However, the three countries need to sustain their efforts to eradicate the disease.

The socioeconomic impact of the Ebola epidemic will also be felt long after the disease has been brought under control. The UN and the international community are also working to make sure the countries can get back on their feet and build strong mechanisms for making sure such a crisis doesn’t happen again.

UN agencies present at the meeting stressed the importance of readiness and prevention, and said the UN should establish more sophisticated and better coordinated plans to take the possibility of another similar crisis into account.

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