EXTENDING A HELPING hand, the Indian community in Liberia has donated aid of over US$200,000 to the ongoing anti-Ebola campaign in the African nation. The donation was done through India’s Consul General to Liberia Upjit Singh Sachdeva on August 28. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who received the aid, praised the Indians for “standing with Liberia in difficult times.”The endowment comprises wide-range of items including two ambulances, and other assorted goods including 2000 bags of rice, hospital beds, 24,000 bottles of water, household utensils, among several other items, in 22 trucks.
Before he handed the items over to the President, Consul General Sachdeva commended Sirleaf for her “extraordinary leadership in effectively and urgently responding to the outbreak and spread of the dreadful Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).”
Sachdeva, who is famous as Mr Jeety, in Liberia , said that the enormity of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and three other West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria, has made fighting the epidemic a global challenge, requiring an effective global response; adding: “The response by the international community, so far to combat the disease is very encouraging.”
He told President Sirleaf that the current outbreak of the disease is affecting the country in many ways. “It is affecting the people; it is affecting all communities in the country; it is affecting the nation, and it is also affecting neighbouring nations. Neighbouring states have unfortunately closed the air and land borders severely hampering intra-sub-regional trade on which Liberia depends largely for the importation of some essential food items,” Sachdeva said.
Mr Jeety further told the audience that the Association of Indian Community in Liberia (AICL) sees itself as an important stakeholder in the Liberian society. He said they, too, are affected by the disease; adding, however, they see it as a part of their bounding duty and responsibility to contribute their quota to the fight to eliminate the disease in their second home, Liberia. He assured the Liberian leader and other people of the country that despite the economic consequences the disease outbreak is having on the business community, he and other leaders of the Indian community have advised all their members involved in economic activities not to exploit this situation by unnecessarily hiking prices.
There have been more than 4,400 confirmed human cases and more than 2,500 deaths since the discovery of Ebola. Lauding the continuous Indian support in the time of crisis, President Sirleaf thanked the Indian community for their immense contributions to the commercial sector of the country, as well as for venturing into the industrial sector where, she said, more jobs will be created for many young Liberians to be employed.
Includes outbreaks resulting in more than 100 deaths or special cases.