In the wake of 3,338 Ebola deaths and over 6,500 Ebola infections in West Africa, the United Nations is rising up to the case by establishing an Ebola Response Headquarters in Accra, Ghana. The agency will be known as the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and its primary purpose will be to serve as a central hub to synergize the efforts of national governments and international partners to respond to Ebola outbreaks anywhere within the African continent.
Anthony Banbury, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General arrived Ghana to set up the mission and collaborate with the Ghanaian government for the success of the mission. Though also located within West Africa, Ghana has never recorded a single case of Ebola and it is centrally located as an emergency response center for dealing with the Ebola situation.
And according to Banbury, “Ghana has never had a case of Ebola, yet the leadership of this country recognizes the impact this outbreak is having on the region. We are extremely grateful to the Government of Ghana and the people living here for their willingness to support our work. Our task now is to work with the international community and support the national authorities of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to stop this outbreak from spreading any further. Our strategy is built around five pillars so we can move fast to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent any further outbreaks.”
Ms Susan Namondo Ngongi, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator and the leader of the UN Country Team in Ghana welcomes the idea to establish the Ebola emergency response mission in Ghana and also pledges her agency’s support for the international initiative.
Ghana’s Minister for Communications who welcomed Mr. Banbury to Accra expressed his government’s willingness to be of support to the United Nations, and he stated that “Ebola is a global problem that knows no boundaries. Ghana is happy to host the UNMEER as we work together to contain and prevent further spread of the disease.” UNMEER will be headquartered in Accra, Ghana, and maintain operational bases in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.