The Government of Australia is providing the sum of One Million United States Dollars through the World Health Organization as additional support to fight the Ebola Virus. This is in addition to an annual 20 million dollars support the Australian Government provides to the WHO for Emergency Health issues.
This was disclosed to Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh by the Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Ambassador Frances Adamson, during a call on her by the former to brief her about the health challenge, the Ebola Virus Disease, currently ravaging three of four Mano River Union Countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and to seek further support from her Home Government.
Speaking, the Australian Ambassador said, following a request by Ambassador Foh to meet and discuss a range of issues including the current Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, she informed her Home Office about the said request. It was at the said meeting held Thursday 14th August that the Ambassador got a communication via email, from her Home Government telling her that as a Government, Australia was making an additional contribution of One Million United States Dollars, through the World Health Organization in Geneva, specifically to fight the Ebola outbreak, in addition to the Twenty Million Dollars annual support they give to WHO for Health Emergency purposes.
The lady Ambassador was pleased to give credit to Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh for such positive development which came following Ambassador Foh’s request for the meeting. She further pledged, on behalf of her Government, continued support to Sierra Leone.
Ambassador Frances Adamson also expressed Australia’s condolences to the Government and people of Sierra Leone following the deaths of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans following the Ebola outbreak. The International Community, she said, has a role in tackling the health challenge in the countries affected and that as a nation, Australia will do her best to support through the WHO.
Speaking earlier, Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh informed his counterpart from Australia that both Sierra Leone and Australia share a lot in common since they both are members of the Commonwealth of Nations and have same colonial similarities.
Ambassador Foh briefed her that three of four countries in the MRU are now faced with a serious health challenge regarding the EVD. “As part of the International Community, I see the need to reach out to you and keep you informed and seek your support during this challenging moment” he said. He briefed his Australian counterpart in Beijing on measures the Government of Sierra Leone has put in place to fight the Virus.
Ambassador Foh also used the meeting to thank the Australian Government, through its Mission in Beijing, for the support given to Sierra Leone during and after her civil war when many Sierra Leoneans went and settled in Australia. “I hope and pray that those of our citizens in your country will continue to abide by the laws of your country.”
Responding to the One Million Dollars support by the Australian Government, Ambassador Foh said, he was “grateful for this timely intervention through the WHO.”
The Sierra Leone Envoy used the opportunity to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the additional 10 million Yuan ($1.6m) worth of medical equipment given as support to Sierra Leone. “Let me use this and any other available opportunity, to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their continued support to Sierra Leone in particular and the Sub-Region generally for their continued and timely support to fight the Ebola Virus Disease”
In similar vein, Ambassador Foh has met with the Ambassadors of Thailand and Indonesia on diverse dates to further strengthen the already existing diplomatic ties between those countries and Sierra Leone and further updated them on the Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone.
Australia, Indonesia and Thailand are amongst eleven countries the Sierra Leone Ambassador in China is accredited to, in the Southeast Asia Pacific.
John Baimba Sesay
Sierra Leone Embassy-Beijing