U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power Meets With President Sirleaf;Assures of U.S. Government’s Unflinching Support to the Eradication of Ebola and Rebuilding the Country

Tuesday, 28th October 2014
President Sirleaf makes remarks during a joint press stakeout with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry.
President Sirleaf makes remarks during a joint press stakeout with U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry.
Photo Credit: James M.Garresen / Executive Mansion

Monrovia, Liberia - TheUnited States (U.S.) Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) has assured President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the U.S. Government’s unflinching support to the total eradication of the Ebola virus disease and the rebuilding of the country.

 

Ambassador Samantha Power said though Liberia had come through many difficult chapters in its history, the country was on track towards prosperity and deepening democracy until the outbreak of Ebola.

 

“I can commit to you on behalf of the President [Barrack Obama] and the American people that we will work together to ensure that you get back on track and that we will see the backend of this epidemic,” Ambassador Power promised; adding, “We will beat this epidemic together and rebuild a Liberia that is stronger and even more resilient as it has proven itself through its previous difficult days.”

 

According to an Executive Mansion release, Ambassador Samantha Power made the statement when she addressed a joint press stakeout with the Liberian leader in the foyer of the Foreign Ministry following closed-door discussions on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. was in Liberia on the last leg of her tour of the three countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

The U.S. top U.N. envoy indicated that her Government recognized that the Ebola virus disease is taking its toll on the country’s economy, employment, health sector, education, and other vital areas, but stressed their commitment to working with Liberia through “the long haul” of getting each of those sectors back on track.

 

Ambassador Power said her visit to Liberia was an important period, not only in the history of Liberia, but US- Liberia relations. On behalf of President Obama, she was visiting Liberia to demonstrate the U.S. Government’s support for hard-hit countries in their efforts to combat the spread of the epidemic and to draw attention to the need for increased support from the international community.

 

On what Liberians should expect in the coming weeks as the U.S. and the international community scale up its operations in the fight against Ebola, Ambassador Power said Liberians will see many more concrete manifestations of the U.S. and international presence as prescribed in Liberia’s National Plan against Ebola. “We are mobilizing along with the United Nations and the broader international community on behalf of Liberian Government’s National Plan against Ebola,” Ambassador Power said, noting that it is a good and evolving plan which is adaptable as circumstances change.

 

Ambassador Power promised to join in fighting the fear and stigma that exists around Ebola including also to ensure that Liberians all around the world including the United States are treated with dignity and respect.

 

For her part, President Sirleaf appealed to the international community to continue to see the Ebola virus disease as a global threat and that stigmatization, exclusion, restriction is not the appropriate response to this. “We would like for them to recognize the progress being made by all the affected countries and be able to join in the partnership to make sure that there is full containment of this,” the Liberian leader said, adding, “That’s the only way to ensure the safety of our one world and to do all we can to eradicate this virus not only from these countries but from the world.”

 

President Sirleaf expressed delight about the U.S. Ambassador’s visit to Liberia to assess where the country is in the fight against Ebola virus. She thanked Ambassador Power for the support received from the United Nations Security Council generally in promoting Liberia’s development agenda, peacekeeping operations which seeks to ensure peace and stability in the country, in helping to train the country’s security sector, and more recently her efforts to support the fight the Ebola virus.

 

The Liberian leader indicated that based on Ambassador Power’s efforts at the U.N. Security Council including the intervention by the U.S., international community and partners, she is a little more confident of the results from all of this partnership and cooperative effort that exists.  “Ambassador we thank you for what you’ve done to bring us to this point of progress. Thank you for visiting.”

 

During her one-day visit to Liberia, Ambassador Power discussed international efforts with the USAID-led Disaster Assistance Response Team, which is overseeing the US response to the health emergency, representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).

 

She also visited the field hospital being constructed for the care of health care personnel who might become infected with Ebola in Margibi County and later flew to Suakoko, Bong County in central Liberia and visited a mobile testing laboratory set up by U.S. military at an Ebola Treatment Unit there.

Ambassador Power later traveled to Accra, Ghana for meetings with government leaders and UN officials at UNMEER's headquarters.

She will then travel to Brussels where she will meet with European Union and Belgian officials on international efforts to combat the virus and will deliver remarks at the German Marshall Fund about her visit to the Ebola-affected region and the need for a robust, coordinated response.