Minister Sherlock travels to Sierra Leone to assess response to Ebola outbreak First European Minister to visit region since outbreak

By Ireland - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Click for Full Image Size

DUBLIN, Ireland, October 1, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Minister for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD, today (1st October) travels to Sierra Leone to witness the impact of the Ebola crisis and assess the effect of the over €1 million in funding provided by Ireland to date.

Minister Sherlock will meet frontline aid workers from Goal, Concern, the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières, in addition to key staff from the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.

He will also meet with the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, and Government representatives to discuss their response to the crisis and the support provided by the international community.

He is the first European Minister to visit Sierra Leone since the Ebola outbreak.

Minister Sherlock will visit an Ebola crisis response centre and a distribution centre for desperately-needed supplies, dispatched by Irish Aid.

Ahead of departing to Freetown, Minister Sherlock said:

“I remain extremely concerned about the situation in West Africa, in particular in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. I want to pay tribute to the Irish public who have responded generously to this crisis.

“My visit this week allows me to demonstrate solidarity with those who have been worst-affected and to assess the response to the crisis by the Government in Freetown and also the work of the international community.

“Irish Aid has provided over €1 million in funding since this crisis began to provide nutritional supplies to children and much-needed blankets, tents, mosquito nets, and water tanks. These are practical measures to try and stem the virus and treat victims.

“More than 5,800 people are reported to have been infected and the World Health Organisation has warned of an exponential increase in cases over the coming months. It is essential that the international community do everything it can to assist the health services in the affected countries as they fight this epidemic,” Minister Sherlock added.