21 January 2015
Ban Ki Moon urges international community to help West Africa ‘regain footing’ in the aftermath of Ebola
The United Nations has reported progress in the fight against Ebola, one year since the outbreak of the virus in West Africa. On Tuesday 20 January, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced dramatic improvements in three of the most affected states. According to data from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) the three most affected countries – Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – reported their lowest weekly numbers of confirmed cases in months. However, Mr. Ban urged the international community for continued support.
The Secretary General affirmed that “strong national leadership with local community engagement and international support is slowing the incidence of news cases in many places”. However, he noted that the challenge of minimising suffering and the future success of eradication depended on “collective determination and clarity of focus” by the global community and national actors. The Secretary-General warned against complacency reminding the international community that “resources continue to be required to adjust the response, monitor chains of transmission and end the outbreak”. Mr. Ban stated that the Trust Fund created for Ebola response was now “depleted” and called on member states “to sustain the tremendous momentum” achieved so far in fighting the epidemic.
The Secretary General also called for a collective response to the recovery efforts necessitated by the outbreak which has “eaten away at the fabric of society”. Mr. Ban called for continued support to revive the regions and communities affected. “We must, collectively, take stock of how we can build longer-term resilience to withstand future outbreaks”. Assembly President Kutesa reiterated this statement, affirming that “as we shift from the immediacy of the initial outbreak, we must now direct our attention to the region’s long-term recovery effort”.