Regional UN team supports ongoing efforts to eradicate Ebola and calls for greater regional and international solidarity with affected countries and people in West Africa

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DAKAR, Sénégal, September 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Said Djinnit, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary- General for West Africa (SRSG) convened yesterday a meeting of the regional UN team based in Dakar to review developments in West Africa. The meeting, comprising heads of regional offices of UN entities in the region, reviewed the ongoing efforts to address the Ebola crisis.

The meeting welcomed the appointment by the Secretary-General of Dr. David Nabarro as the Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, who concluded his tour of the region on 28 August 2014. They praised efforts being deployed by the governments of the affected countries in tackling the spread of the virus, with the support of the UN and other international partners.

The meeting deplored the ongoing socio-economic consequences of the spread of the virus, including in particular the isolation of the affected countries with the risk of stigmatizing the populations. The meeting observed that the solution is not in travel restrictions but in ensuring that effective preventive and curative health measures are put in place. In this context, the participants warned against possible impact on food security, freedom of movement and the provision of services, which could also undermine efforts by the governments of the region.

The Special Representative and the Regional Directors reiterated their full support to a joint, coherent and orchestrated response led by the national authorities. The UN is scaling up its humanitarian presence and operations in the affected countries, and encourages preparedness measures in other countries of the region. The participants called for further engagement of the international community including the United Nations to support regional efforts against the spread of the virus, particularly through resource mobilization.