ECOWAS Leaders Share Ideas on Collective Response to COVID-19
Monrovia – Leaders of the Economic Community for West Africa States, ECOWAS on Wednesday, agreed on exchange and sharing of ideas on the need for a collection and effective response to COVID- 19.
In an extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority via Videoconference, the leaders agreed on debt cancellation and welcomed the new President of GB into the block.
The leaders also stressed the need for coordination and charged ECOWAS to do a stock- taking of all member states response actions to the impact of COVID- 19. They called on the AU to use the newly established AU COFID- 19 Fund to help member states and WAHO to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. They also called on member states to contribute to the Fund as Senegal and Mali had contributed 1 million dollar each. President Buhari was appointed as the Champion for the Coordination of COVID- 19.
Addressing the conference, Liberian President George Weah called for more collaborative efforts on the part of member states of ECOWAS as they all grapple with the Coronavirus disease in their individual countries. The Liberian leader said these consultations should be done “in real time” on matters concerning the disease and its impact on countries of the region.
“I also want to thank our International Partners, especially multilateral Institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, other corporate organizations. For the support they have all provided collectively and individually towards the containment of the COVID-19 virus in Liberia”.Liberian President George Weah
While expressing his appreciation to the current Chairman of the body, Niger’s President Issoufou MAHAMADOU, for convening the meeting in spite of the challenges, President Weah also thanked Ecowas and the West African Health Organization for the support that has been provided to all member countries, including Liberia.
“I also want to thank our International Partners, especially multilateral Institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, other corporate organizations”, he said, “for the support they have all provided collectively and individually towards the containment of the COVID-19 virus in Liberia”.
The President said he is thankful for initial steps by these institutions towards relieving developing countries of debt burden during this difficult period for the global economy, but urged an approach with more synergy that will see developing countries, such as Liberia, lessen the negative impact of the pandemic.
During the discussions, he enumerated the steps the Liberian government is taking so far to contain the disease, citing the preparatory and response measures put in place early February.
The President said that in spite of the vigilance, Liberian recorded its index patient on March 16, 2020. “Today, as we speak”, he continued, “We have experienced 103 confirmed cases, 75 active cases, 20 recoveries, and 8 deaths”.
The Liberian leader offered his condolences and empathy for the bereaved and afflicted. The President also informed his colleagues of measures his government has taken, in the face of constraints, to reduce the socio-economic impact of the virus on the most vulnerable in Liberia.