Statement by Ministers Paradis of Canada, Girardin of France and Coll-Seck of Senegal on International Response to Ebola Crisis

By Canada - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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DAKAR, Sénégal, November 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie; Annick Girardin, France's Minister of State for Development and La Francophonie; and Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Senegal's Minister of Health and Social Action, today issued the following statement at the close of an important meeting on Ebola held on the margins of the XVe Sommet de la Francophonie [15th Francophonie summit], co-hosted by ministers Paradis, Girardin and Coll-Seck.

“Member country participants of La Francophonie have expressed their support and solidarity for those countries battling Ebola and collectively recognize the importance of strengthening health care systems to better manage such threats now and in the future,” said Minister Paradis. “We are resolved to strengthen La Francophonie's efforts to collaborate and coordinate with the United Nations. We will do this by encouraging the creation of innovative partnerships to build on each of our strengths and maximize our contributions to advance our response to the Ebola crisis.”

“France has mobilized since the beginning of the crisis to support countries in the region, particularly Guinea,” said Minister of State Girardin. “It implemented, along with its Guinean partner, concrete actions to improve the training of health care personnel, set up several treatment centres and put controls in place at the Conakry, Guinea, airport to prevent the country from becoming isolated. We need to mobilize to win the fight. France is strengthening its commitment and has agreed to play an increased role in coordinating aid to Guinea, in cooperation with the United Nations. France is already working with Guinean authorities on the post-Ebola agenda in terms of both health and economic and social development.”

“Senegal is pleased that this Francophonie summit provides member states with the opportunity to increase their commitment in order to more effectively fight Ebola,” said Minister Coll-Seck. “This dreadful disease is currently a public health concern and a threat on the global scale since, in the absence of a vaccine, it could spread. Senegal appreciates the international community's efforts to stop the disease, but we must remain vigilant and continue to mobilize at all levels in a global partnership. Senegal also calls for increased solidarity with Ebola-affected countries and in the fight against stigmatization and discrimination.”

“Canada remains gravely concerned by the threat that Ebola represents to the people and countries of the West Africa region and beyond,” said Minister Paradis. “We have demonstrated strong support for the work being undertaken by governments in the West Africa region in close collaboration with the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, the World Health Organization, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other international and non-governmental partners. Today, the Government of Canada announced it is giving an additional $20.9 million to humanitarian organizations fighting Ebola, including $5 million to the Croix-rouge française to support the operation of Ebola treatment centres in Guinea. With Canada's support, more Ebola-infected patients in Guinea will receive the treatment and care they need to survive. Canada will continue to invest in strengthening health systems, biosecurity, food security and sustainable economic growth over the long term in this region.”