Head of the Sierra Leone delegation to this year’s 102nd Council of Ministers meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), who is also the country’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Alhaji FBL Mansaray has commended the, “extraordinary assistance of the international community and other development partners such as the ACP Group of States”, for their roles in helping Sierra Leone to conquer the Ebola war.
Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Alhaji FBL Mansaray at the ACP Hq.
Addressing the Council of Ministers and their representatives from all the 79 Member States at the ACP headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, 25th November, 2015, Hon. Mansaray officially informed the Member States that the World Health Organisation had declared Sierra Leone Ebola free on, 7th November after the country had gone for forty-two days without registering any case of Ebola. This news was greeted with rapturous applaud from members, urging the President of the Council of Ministers and Chairlady of the occasion, Lesotho’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. Mamphono Khaketla to remark, “at last we have something positive to report on after all that has happened recently”.
Hon. Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie and Mrs Amy Myers, Deputy National Authorising Officer
Hon. Mansaray, accompanied by Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie and the delegation from Freetown comprising Mrs Amy Bintu Myers (Deputy National Authorising Officer) and Mrs Esther Sesay (Policy Analyst in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development) reported that a total of 8,704 people were infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. “Of this number 4,051 survived whilst 3,589 people died of the disease, 221 of whom were healthcare workers, including 11 doctors”.
Mrs Amy Myers and Mrs Esther Sesay
The Minister of State however, furthered that, even though the country has been officially declared Ebola free, the government and people of Sierra Leone are strictly observing the WHO recommendation for the continuation of enhanced surveillance for the next 90 days.
He further informed his audience that, His Excellency, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has already commenced discussions with the leadership of the Parliament of Sierra Leone to end the State of Emergency which was declared over a year ago in a bid to eradicate the Ebola virus in the country.
He informed the Council of Ministers about the start of the implementation process by the government of the post-Ebola economic recovery programme with priorities on health, education, social protection, energy, water, agriculture etc. So far, according to Minister Mansaray, over the past four months, government has supported more than 30,000 vulnerable households with cash transfers, paid school fees for more than 1.1 million children returning to school, supported farming households with seeds and fertilizers and provided support packages to Ebola survivors, orphans and widows.
In a related development, the ACP Group of States through its Secretary General, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes has in a letter dated 12thNovember, 2015, sent to the government of Sierra Leone through its Embassy in Brussels, congratulated the government and people of Sierra Leone for having been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation.
The letter further reaffirms the ACP Group’s “solidarity with the people of the Republic of Sierra Leone in their efforts to consolidate the gains made with the existing national systems to manage future risks, as well as in their progress to social and economic recovery, and will continue to give special attention to the enhancing of health systems in ACP Member states as part of its 11th EDF Intra-ACP Development Cooperation Programmes”.
Notes on pics:
1. Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Hon. Alhaji FBL Mansaray at the ACP Hq.
2. Hon. Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie and Mrs Amy Myers, Deputy National Authorising Officer
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