‘Liberia is Close to Our Heart’, Says Norwegian Foreign Minister

first_imgThe Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Norway, Borge Brende, has said that Liberia is close to the heart of Norway and they could not sit idly by and see the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) ravage the country.  Instead, he said, Norway is joining the fight to eradicate the disease.When the disease is eradicated with all of the global attention and support that the crisis is now receiving, the Norwegian Government will resume its development aid to Liberia, Minister Brende said. Norway’s prime focus of assistance to Liberia is in the energy and forestry sectors.The Norwegian Foreign Minister was speaking during a joint press conference on Tuesday at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.  Also participating in the press conference were President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Foreign Minister Brende announced that 160 doctors from his country have already signed up to be deployed to the three West African Ebola affected states.He also announced that Norway will provide military transportation in the form of logistical support to Liberia, aimed at eradicating the epidemic.This support is in addition to what the Norwegian Government has committed since the outbreak of the virus in the region. The government of the small European country had already committed over US$60 million to the response exercise in the Mano River Union (MRU). He also made disclosure of an additional US$15 million to be channeled through the World Health Organization (WHO) for affected countries.Minister Brende, who was in the country to get a firsthand look and briefing on the outbreak and its effect on the country, renewed Norway’s commitment to assist Liberia with Ebola, as well as his country’s partnership beyond Ebola.The Norwegian Foreign Minister, who is also Councilor of State and presides over the Ministry which is responsible for trade, foreign aid and cooperation with international organizations, stressed that his Government saw it as a responsibility to reach out to Liberia due to the long standing relationship between the two countries, especially with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, at the helm. The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Kingdom of Norway.It may be recalled that during a high-level Ebola Crisis Event held in connection with the World Bank annual meetings in Washington, D.C. last week, Foreign Minister, on behalf of his country, pledged well over US$10 million toward a new multi-donor fund for the fight against Ebola set up by the World Bank. “It is positive that the World Bank is setting up a fund to put the health sector in the affected countries in a better position to deal with the crisis,” he declared. For his part, the USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah informed journalists that the United States has put into place significant measures,  including finances, in order to contain the spread of the virus.Mr. Shah disclosed that the U.S. Government had approved and begun spending US$400 million with over 600 staff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the country working with USAID to support the Liberian Government, making it the largest CDC operation outside of the United States.The USAID Administrator further announced that the U.S. Government, through USAID, would give US$5 million to support the Liberian Government in its compensation program for health care workers. Mr. Shah noted, however, that this amount is part of the US$142 million critical support, out of which US$65 million would be targeted toward training, community-based engagements and the construction of care centers across the country.The USAID Administrator renewed the United States’ commitment to helping Liberia in its fight against the Ebola virus disease and hoped that everyone would work together to return Liberia to normalcy in order to resume its development programs.Other members of the Norwegian delegation that met President Sirleaf included: Chief of Staff Vebjorn Dysvik and Harald Tollan of the West Africa Unit of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry; while the USAID Administrator was accompanied by USAID Country Director in Liberia, John Marc Winfield, DART Leader Bill Berger and U.S, Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More »

Let The Truth Be Told- As I See It

first_img– Advertisement – Dr. Wilhemina Jallah, Health Minister-designate and Founder and CEO, Hope For Women Hospital By Letitia A. ReevesA few days ago, while listening to the 2 p.m. news I learned that President Weah had nominated Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah to the position of Minister of Health and Social Welfare. I was elated that this young and energetic woman had been chosen.A lot of young men and women travel abroad for further studies in various fields of study. Many of them remain abroad and get employed because the opportunities are much better. They think first of themselves rather than their country and fellow citizens.Dr. Jallah studied abroad, became a doctor, worked for a couple of years to gain experience and some finances and returned to help her country. She worked at the JFK Medical Center and after a while, seeing the need of many Liberian women and girls, opened her private clinic, which is now a full-fledged hospital.As Liberians, we should all be proud of such a dedicated young woman but instead, some people are doing all they can to dishonor her and tarnish her character.After her nomination, the husband of a lady who died at the Hope for Women International hospital was on the news saying such vile and evil things about Dr. Jallah, stating that she killed his wife. I was shocked to hear a so-called man of God who professes to be a Christian say such things. Doesn’t he know that nothing happens in this world without the will of God? When people who profess to be Christians make such wicked and vile statements how can we expect to minister to non-Christians? What will Dr. Jallah gain from this lady’s death?Why do we as Liberians always have such a negative attitude towards each other, is it because of jealousy or because it makes us feel like nothing when other Liberians fight hard and succeed and we sit on the ‘stood-of-do-nothing’? We have to change our hearts and minds if we want to move this country forward. A foreign person and a Liberian can have a store on the same road with basically the same merchandise, but we prefer to patronize the foreign, rather than our own.Many of us are very ungrateful and unappreciative of what people do for us. We take everything for granted. For example, a few years ago, the Liberian government in collaboration with the United States of America built a first-class hospital in West Africa, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.What did we do to show appreciation and gratitude, we nicknamed the hospital “Just For Killing.”How do you think the Americans felt after taking their hard earned tax dollars to help us and we are so ungrateful? Whoever heard of a hospital where no one dies?I know this husband is hurt and saddened because he lost his wife, but by trying to persecute and defame Dr. Jallah, his wife will never come back. Why tarnish her memory? He should ask God for the strength and courage to move forward. On July 26, 2014, when my husband died at one of the best hospitals in the USA, The John Hopkins Hospital in Washington D.C., I was devastated. Did I say that the doctors killed him? No, because the bible says every man/woman has an appointed time to die. No one dies before his or her time.Another news item that I listened to on the radio is the subject of dual citizenship.During the war years, so many of us sought refuge abroad in several different countries. In order to make the best of our stay, many of us received permanent residence and or citizenship. After things cleared up and peace came to our country many of us returned home to make a life. There are many others who did not really have anything to return to and decided to remain in the United States and other countries because they felt they could make life better abroad. It’s not that they do not love their country. Remember, self-preservation is the first law of nature.I heard so many evil and mean remarks and comments on the radio about those who are abroad and seeking dual Citizenship. All I could think about is jealousy. They did not have the opportunity to go and get the “green card” and so they want to deny their friends.Just go at any banking institution in Monrovia, every day there are hundreds of people standing on line not to do banking, but to receive money through Money gram or Western Union. Suppose those people get angry and say ‘since you say you will vote against us getting dual citizenship we will not send you any more money,’ how will you feel?Fellow Liberians, President Weah in his speech said, “In the cause of the people, the struggle must end.” The struggle will not end unless we do the following:(1) Love our neighbor as ourselves – although we are all from various tribal groups, we are all Liberians. We have to love one another.(2) Get rid of jealousy and the crab mentality (pulling your friend down whenever he tries to get out of the bucket); we will never rise if we don’t stop.(3) Roll up our sleeves and work – we are still looking for handouts. Only hard work will build our country.(4) Stop using the blame game for our shortcomings. Take responsibilities for our failures.(5) Finally, let’s try to end corruption on every level, from the street sweeper who sells the forty Liberian dollar broom given to him to sweep the street, to the market women who beat in the bottom of the measuring cup to make a few more dollars at the expense of the buyer, all the way up to the legislator, judiciary and executive. If we can at least start with these five points, then and only then, we will be on our way to ending the struggle.LONG LIVE LIBERIA, THIS GLORIOUS LAND OF LIBERTY, BY GOD’S COMMAND!About the author: She is a graduate of the College of West Africa, class of 1958, and holds a BSc degree in Secondary Education from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She returned home and worked at CWA, Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development. After the Coup in 1980, she returned to the USA and obtained an Associate Degree in Banking at Hofstra University on Long Island. She became employed at Bank of America and retired after 15 years. She traveled extensively to France, Great Britain, Sweden, China, Hong Kong, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, and lived in Ethiopia, Zambia and Angola. In 2003, returned to Liberia. She was appointed Mayor of the City of Paynesville from February 2009 to December 2012 by President Sirleaf. She is an active member and Deacon of the Providence Baptist Church, Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More »