Source: starrfmonline.com - President John Mahama has reiterated his call on the donor community to consider the cancellation of the debts of the three West African countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The chairman of ECOWAS first made the call on behalf of the sub-region at the recent meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa.
Speaking during a courtesy call by the German Minister for Economic Cooperation, Gerd Muller, and his colleague Minister for Health Hermann Groehe, on Thursday, President Mahama stated that the three countries have had their economies heavily battered by the outbreak, noting that even countries that were not affected will lose about 1% of their GDP as a result of the virus.
“Ebola has taken a very serious toll on them in terms of their economies and as the World Bank said it has accounted for a reduction of 4.6% in GDP”, the President said.
Making a case for the debt cancellation, the ECOWAS chair said it will help the affected countries to re-engineer their economies and bounce back on their feet.
“The three most affected countries need the help of the international community both to increase their resilience of their response in future to any such attacks by improving their public health systems.”
President Mahama also commended Germany for the critical role it played in the establishment of the UN’s rapid response efforts, which has led to the reduction of Ebola cases in the three countries.
"One of the issues we discussed with Chancellor Merkel was our agreement to send a letter to the UN Secretary-General signed by Chancellor Merkel, the Norwegian Prime Minister and myself to suggest the setting up of an international panel of eminent persons to investigate the world’s international crisis response in terms of matters to do with health, like we had with the Ebola crisis."
"And the reason for that was to make it possible for the international community to respond much quicker and more efficiently than we did in the case of the recent Ebola outbreak. Just a few days ago I was very pleased to receive a response from the UN Secretary General accepting our proposal and indicating that the UN was going to work with us to set up such a panel and they hope that we would assist so that we can set up a better international crisis response system," he said.
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