International Ebola Recovery Conference
The world has an obligation to support the recovery of Ebola affected countries
Fairfield, Conn. (July 9, 2015) — With the opening today of the International Ebola Recovery Conference in New York, the NGO Save the Children urges the international community to support Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea mobilizing the resources they need to finance their recovery plans.
The three countries, which are among the poorest in the world, have seen their economies collapse due to the epidemic, not to mention the disastrous consequences it had on health and education. Without outside help, it will be difficult for them to recover from this crisis.
“The international community has an obligation to support Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to recover from a long crisis which has severely weakened them. Donors must ensure that significant funding is devoted with an emphasis on health and education, two sectors which paid a heavy price to Ebola”, said Natasha Kofoworola Quist, Save the Children’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
The health systems in the three countries, which were already failing before Ebola, have collapsed due to an epidemic for which they were not prepared. Major investments are needed to rebuild and to strengthen the health systems in order to guarantee access to basic care for millions of children and pregnant women who did not benefit during the outbreak as the bulk of resources and medical staff focused on fighting the virus.
Education is another important pillar in the recovery. Millions of students lost the equivalent of one year of schooling when schools were closued to curb the spread of the virus among children. Governments, with the support of the international community, must invest in education to allow children to get back to normal schooling in a safe and protective environment.
“Donors must ensure that there is sufficient funding to rebuild and strengthen school systems. It is the governments’ responsibility to do what is necessary to guarantee access to education for all children in the three countries, who have some of the lowest school attendance rates in the world”, added Natasha Kofoworola Quist.
But Save the Children reiterates that it is too early to declare victory against the outbreak. “Ebola is still present in Guinea and Sierra Leone, where new cases are recorded every week, and the virus has reappeared in Liberia, only two months after the World Health Organization announced the end of the epidemic there”, she stressed.
The world was slow to react to the epidemic, we cannot make a second mistake by turning our backs on the countries affected by Ebola before the work is finished.
Visit our Exposure site on the impact of Ebola in the Guinea Forest Region and the population’s fight to recover: bit.ly/RecoveryEB2
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