UNITED NATIONS, November 12 (RIA Novosti) — The Ebola virus is causing economic as well as medical harm and requires additional aid, Liberia's Permanent Representative to the UN Marjon Kamara told the UN Security Council on Wednesday.
"The World Bank recently gave a gloomy depiction of the economic effects of the disease on the three most affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. With budget shortfalls and a projected negative domestic revenue generating capacity, the government's ability to meet its responsibility to the Liberian people remains greatly hampered," Kamara told the Council.
Referring to the UN Peacekeeping mission in the country, UNMIL, Kamara made a plea for increased resources, saying that “missions such as UNMIL have valuable assets human and material. We believe that the UNMIL assets would make a difference if deployed to complement the efforts of Government, the UN Mission on Emergency Ebola Response, UNMEER, and partners to strengthen the response to the virus.”
Per Thoresson, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sweden, which chairs the UN Peacebuilding configuration on Liberia, specified that "according to the World Bank, the two-year regional financial impact could reach $32.6 billion by the end of 2015. The World Bank also indicated that Liberia's revised 2014-15 budget has an unmet financing gap of more than half of the budget deficit projected at over $300 million."
Arguing against isolating Ebola-impacted countries, Thoresson said that "strengthening international and regional cooperation will continue to be vital to ease the burden of the crisis. We must help create the necessary conditions and advocate for businesses to return to Liberia. Suspended flights to Liberia should resume to facilitating this cooperation."
So far, two UN staff members have died from Ebola, one on September 25 and another on October 13. Kamara on Wednesday said, "in a somber reflection, I again extend, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, and in my own name, profound condolences to the families of two UN staff members who lost their lives at the hands of Ebola."
The current Ebola epidemic in West Africa started in southern Guinea in December 2013 and soon spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. The latter two countries have recently been declared free of the virus.