- Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2015
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Sierra Leone: Wild Fires - Jan 2013
- Sierra Leone/Guinea: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2012
- West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods and Landslides - Aug 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2007
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2007
Dutch companies are keen to invest in West African countries affected by Ebola, according to foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen, who is currently visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea with a delegation of 31 Dutch companies and organisations.
Speaking in Berlin today, foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen will express her appreciation and support for the work of Gavi – the vaccination alliance that runs major programmes in numerous developing countries. In her address to the Gavi Pledging Conference, her message will be clear: ‘Gavi is saving millions of lives, especially those of women and children. The results speak for themselves.
The Netherlands is sending three teams of specialised laboratory technicians to Liberia and Sierra Leone to help fight the Ebola outbreak there. They will be working in mobile laboratories, purchased by the Netherlands and transported to the region by the Joint Support Ship Karel Doorman, conducting blood tests to establish whether patients are infected with the disease. According to Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, this fulfils an important need.
Today the first Ebola aid supplies will be loaded onto the naval ship Karel Doorman, leaving for West Africa tomorrow. Goods will start to come aboard at around midday, including 11 million rubber gloves, a significant number of lorries, ambulances and other vehicles, 1,000 rubber boots, disinfectant, thermometers, generators, mobile laboratories, protective clothing for medical staff and more than 300,000 medical masks for relief workers.
This evening at the European Council in Brussels, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced an extra contribution to efforts to fight Ebola. The Prime Minister said that the Netherlands would purchase relief supplies worth €5 million, for use in the countries most affected: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
‘It is crucial,’ the Prime Minister said, ‘that the international community make every effort it can. The Netherlands is among those taking the lead. I call on other countries to shoulder their responsibility to contain this terrible disease and prevent its further spread.’
Foreign trade and development minister Lilianne Ploumen attended a closed meeting on the Ebola outbreak in New York on Thursday. President Barack Obama and government leaders from West Africa were also present.
According to Ms Ploumen, it is important to examine how possible negative secondary effects arising from the international response to the outbreak can be avoided. ‘It is vital to isolate the disease without cutting off the already fragile economies of the countries affected. This will require close coordination between all the parties involved.’
The government has decided to create a new emergency aid fund for the 2014-2017 period. In total an extra €570 million will be made available to meet the most immediate needs of those affected by conflict-related violence and natural disasters. This is in addition to the existing €210 million annual humanitarian aid budget.
Soccer for girls, success for all
second year in brief
The Netherlands is increasing its contribution to the Sierra Leone tribunal this year by one million euros. The Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) is an independent criminal court established in that country's capital, Freetown. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed during Sierra Leone's civil war in the 1990s.
'It is vital that the tribunal can continue to fight impunity without any constraint,' foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said.
Over the next few years the Netherlands will give extra support to provide children in emergencies with education. Agnes van Ardenne, the Minister for Development Cooperation, has entered into an agreement to this effect with the UN Children's Fund Unicef. A €166 million contribution will be used to support a Unicef programme that aims to provide 25 million children and young people in 40 countries with a better education and a more promising future.
The programme will enable 10 million children who are currently deprived of any form of education whatsoever to return to school.
Agnes van Ardenne, Minister for Development Cooperation, is donating 9 million euros to the UN to alleviate the food crisis in Africa. Of this sum, 5 million will go to the Horn of Africa, 3 million to Southern Africa and 1 million to West Africa. 40 million Africans are threatened by famine. Ethiopia has been worst hit by food shortages and faces widespread starvation.