Release: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: The Government of Kenya has announced that it would donate US$1 M (One Million United States Dollars) to aid Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea to fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The disclosure of Kenya’s commitment to support countries worst-affected by Ebola was made by Kenyan Cabinet Secretary and its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Amina C. Mohamed when she met Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan on Monday, September 8, 2014 on the margins of the Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola Outbreak in Africa.
According to a Foreign Ministry dispatch, Kenyan Foreign Minister Mohamed said the donation was instructed by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as a way of extending the solidarity of the people of Kenya to their brothers and sisters of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea during this difficult period as they battle the deadly Ebola virus. She extended the sympathy of the Government and people of Kenyan on the loss of over two thousand human lives in the Ebola affected countries and disclosed that the Kenyan Government would soon deploy a team of Kenyan medical personnel to Liberia to help fill some of the critical manpower gaps that have occurred as a result of the deaths of health-care workers in Liberia.
On the suspension of Kenya Airways flights to Liberia and other Ebola affected countries, Foreign Minister Mohamed revealed the situation is being critically reviewed and was hopeful that a decision for the resumption of flights to the Mano River basin would be made soon.
“We resisted, from March to July, every attempt and pressure to suspend flights, but we came under immense pressure in August from a host of external and internal actors”, she asserted. She said Kenya is committed to African solidarity and will do nothing to stop the movement of Africans across the continent.
In response to concerns expressed by Minister Ngafuan about the denial of entry into Kenya of Liberian students admitted by Kenyan universities, the Kenyan Foreign Minister expressed profound apologies and regrets for the unfortunate situation and attributed it to coordination challenges. The Kenyan Foreign Minister assured that the Liberian students who are presently stranded in Accra would be allowed immediate entry into Kenya so as to begin their academic sojourns without further delay. She re-assured that Kenya has not imposed any travel ban on individuals from Ebola affected countries. Minister Mohamed then hailed the long standing bilateral relationship between Kenya and Liberia and expressed the hope for even closer relations in the future.
For his part, Liberia’s Foreign Minister Ngafuan on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government and people of Liberia commended President Kenyatta and the Government and people of Kenya for Kenya’s decision to commit both financial and human resources to assist Liberia in its fight against Ebola.
“These gestures are concrete demonstrations of African solidarity and attest to the strong bond of friendship that has existed and continues to exist between our two countries”, Minister Ngafuan enthusiastically remarked.
Minister Ngafuan also extended thanks to the Kenyan government for the decision to grant immediate entry to the stranded Liberian students. He also welcomed news that the suspension of Kenyan Airways flights to Liberia is currently under review and hoped that a positive decision leading to resumption of flights would be made shortly.
“We understand that it was a difficult decision for Kenya Airways to suspend flights. Kenya Airways has distinguished itself as a reliable and excellent African airline; Liberians are therefore anxiously looking forward to flights of the airline to Monrovia as there presently exist no flights connecting Monrovia to Accra, which is a major hub in West Africa,” Minister Ngafuan told his Kenyan counterpart.
The meeting was also attended by the Kenyan Finance Minister Henry Rotich and the Liberian Ambassador accredited to Ethiopia and the African Union, H. E. Vivienne T. Wreh.