Seven of the 18 persons accused of mercenary activities in neighboring La Côte d’Ivoire may be set free, if their pleas are accepted by Criminal Court ‘D’ at the Temple of Justice.The 18 men were arrested between 2010 and 2012 in Grand Gedeh County by state security. They were subsequently indicted and charged in 2013 for alleged mercenary activities.In their 19-count “Motion for Judgment Acquittal,” lawyers for the defense argued that witnesses who have testified for prosecution have already admitted that the seven co-defendants knew nothing about fighting in La Côte d’Ivoire.They further argued that the co-defendants should be acquitted as a matter of law, stating that “The state failed to produce evidence against them.”The lawyers said state witnesses had failed to produce evidence showing that any of the co-defendants was arrested with arms, while returning from La Côte d’Ivoire to Liberia, where they were arrested.The defense team added that prosecution failed “miserably” to satisfy the “burden of proof” in the matter as required by law, alleging the evidence was insufficient to convict the men of the charge.They also argued that government failed during the trial to prove their indictments with clear and cogent evidences, as there were material variances (contradictions) in the testimonies of their witnesses.Therefore, the lawyers prayed that “This Honorable Court should accept the motion and discharge the co-defendants from further answering to the charge of mercenarism, and grant unto them such further relief it may consider just and legal”.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Gbarnga-Ganta highway now has a new look as the Chinese road building firm, CHICO, continues its engineering work under the World Bank contract.The new face of the road brought great delight to those who are plying the road daily; especially Nimbaians and those from the south-east.Nearly 40 years since the road was constructed under William R. Tolbert regime in 1976, it has in recent years turned very deplorable owing to what many believe was due to the long civil war.The worst condition was recalled in 2012 when rain damaged almost all poorly constructed roads in the country.The deplorable condition of roads that year hampered movement and made transportation fares to steadily rise.With funding from the World Bank, CHICO and the Government of Liberia in 2012, signed a contract to construct the piece of road from Gbarnga to Ganta Border for over US$ 100m.In mid-2013, CHICO began preparing its camps and setting up mechanism for the construction of the once talk about bad road around Liberia.Despite the late starting, the road work appears to be speeding than expected. At present, the portion of road from Jennepleta in Bong County to a village close to the boundary with Nimba had been paved.And on the Nimba side, the pavement is ongoing beginning from the town called Dukpe, near Kpain and moving toward Sokopa at the St. John River.Prior to the construction of the road, it took a vehicle over 2hrs to reach Ganta or Gbarnga from either side.Even the part of the road that is yet to be paved has been rehabilitated with the old tarmac removed thus creating a smooth condition for vehicles to freely move.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Dear Editor,Kindly permit me space in your reputable publication to respond to the article titled “Poor past…Alexander says Vishnu Persaud’s past performance sank him –Myers emerged the more qualified for top GECOM post”, which was authored by Ms. Ariana Gordon and published in the Guyana Chronicle on June 14, 2018.Before doing so specifically, it is pertinent that I note that relative to my rejection for reappointment to the position of Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), I had taken the position that I would not comment publicly on this matter, notwithstanding the negative blogs about me by persons with pseudonyms, who do not know me or of my professional record.However, some inferences and statements contained within the above referred article dictate that I respond in an albeit futile attempt to undo some of the defamation and stigma that have now accordingly been cast upon me.For the sake of clarity, context and relevance, the specific issues are documented herein in a manner in which responses are attached to individual identified comments attributed to Mr. Alexander.The article opens by informing that “FORMER Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vishnu Persaud, was rejected for rehiring on the grounds of his past performance, his alleged history of faking his qualifications to the commission, and the fact that Roxanne Myers has “better qualifications” than him, a top commissioner at the electoral body has said”.The article went further to attribute the following comment to Mr. Vincent Alexander, Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission: “He [Justice Patterson] objected to Vishnu based on past performance, based on the other candidate having better qualifications, and based on the history of misrepresentation of qualifications to the commission,” longstanding commissioner Vincent Alexander told the Guyana Chronicle”.The author acknowledged that the “newspaper has been unable to independently verify this,” and the inability to verify defamatory comments should have mitigated against publishing them. Apart from independent verification, I further posit that there was no evidence presented to suggest the aspersions cast against me were anything more than the slanderous utterances of Mr. Alexander. Further, it is disturbing and disingenuous that the author notes the lack of verification of Alexander’s claims, but the word defamation nonetheless commands the headline of the article.In addressing this comment, I will break down my response into three categories as follows:“He [Justice Patterson] objected to Vishnu based on past performance”.It is important to note that while the caption of the article opens with the term “poor past”, the body of the article addresses “past performance” without specifically indicating that my “past performance” was “poor”.However, whereas this comment suggests that my past performance was unacceptable or at the least questionable, there is absolutely nothing in the article to so substantiate.I joined the GECOM in November of 2001 in the capacity of Public Relations Officer (PRO), and worked continuously up to August 2017 – serving in the last three years as DCEO.Throughout my tenure I was never cautioned, reprimanded, rebuked – orally or in writing – by senior management of the GECOM Secretariat or the Commission for failure to honour my responsibilities.On the contrary, from about 2004 up to the end of my stint, I was multi-tasking by carrying the responsibilities of additional substantive offices.In 2004, the person who was employed as Personal Assistant (PA) to the Chairman – a position on the GECOM organogram – was promoted to Logistics Manager. The then Chairman from then onwards had me function as his de facto PA, which I did up to August 2014, when I was appointed DCEO.Simultaneously, I was tasked with the responsibilities of scribe to the Commission, since this responsibility was also being carried by the Chairman’s PA. I carried out this responsibility for about eight years, with a short break when a Legal Officer was employed for a short period.During my stint as PRO, in the run up to the 2011 General and Regional Elections, the Commission as well as political stakeholders complained severely that the Civic and Voter Education (C&VE) programmes of the Commission were severely lacking. Notwithstanding the C&VE function being vested in a substantive manager in a designated position senior to PRO, the Chairman informed the Commission that he was tasking me with significant responsibility for the print and electronic media aspect of C&VE. There was no objection at the level of either Commission or Secretariat.This can be substantiated from the minutes of the relevant statutory meeting of the Commission. I continued to carry this responsibility up to early 2014, when the C&VE Manager demitted office. From then up to August 2017, I carried the C&VE responsibilities in totality because no one was appointed to the vacant position of C&VE Manager. To date, the position remains vacant.Following the 2015 General and Regional Elections, and in preparation for the 2016 Local Government Elections (LGEs), the Human Resources Manager (HRM) resigned. This happened somewhere in the mid-2015. The Secretariat was deeply involved in the training of approximately 12,000 temporary staff for the upcoming LGEs.Upon the resignation of the HRM, the Chief Election Officer assigned me responsibility for management of the Human Resource Division. I carried this responsibility along with that of C&VE simultaneously with my substantive duties of DCEO up to the appointment of a substantive HRM at the beginning of 2017. There was no additional pay, and none was ever sought.While I was DCEO, I acted in the capacity of CEO once, and “held the fort” several times for the CEO when he had to leave the office for a week at a time. I was never cited nor censured for any wrongdoing whatsoever.Naturally, I have seen all of the performance appraisals prepared for me by former Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally, under whose direct supervision I worked up to August 2014. There is nothing in any of those appraisals that would suggest I was lacking in any area of the regime of responsibilities with which I was tasked.In view of the foregoing, I am at a loss to determine how my past performance could have led to my detriment. I challenge anyone, and specifically the Guyana Chronicle and Mr. Alexander, to dispute the provable facts I have outlined above.Another candidate has better qualifications–This position was put forward without any comparison of the qualifications of the two concerned candidates, specifically in relation to the criteria delineated in the advertisement for the vacant position of DCEO.Under qualifications, the advertised criteria asked for the following: A post graduate degree – it is confirmed that both of the concerned candidates have Master’s Degrees. I have a Master’s in Business Administration from the Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom.Qualification in Elections Management –I have a Level 5 Certificate in Management & Leadership, with specific expertise in electoral processes, which was issued by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – UK through the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) – UK.This is a successor qualification to the Professional Certificate in Electoral Processes which is conducted by the ICPS, and in which I participated in London, UK. The Level 5 Certificate is equivalent to a Higher National Diploma (HND) in the UK.Additionally, I attended two Commonwealth Secretariat-conducted one week training in Elections Management in New Delhi, India and Kinston, Jamaica respectively.Experience in the management of national electionsI was the substantive DCEO for three years, with responsibility for Operations, during which the 2015 General and Regional Elections and 2016 LGEs were conducted.It is important to remind here that I also carried the full responsibilities of C&VE, and Human Resources to a lesser extent during my tenure as DCEO.Also, I beg to submit that all of the responsibilities as described above speak to my knowledge/experience in electoral processes.Excellent oral and written communication skillsI have a Diploma in Public Relations from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and over 12 years’ experience as Public Relations Officer.In view of the foregoing, I humbly request that facts be put forward to prove that the “other candidate has better qualifications”. I gather that reading towards a PhD as documented in the article may be used as proof of a qualification not yet had?History of Misrepresentation of Qualifications to the CommissionWhereas there is nothing to support this allegation, I need to make it pellucid that at no time have I ever misrepresented my qualifications to the GECOM. During Mr. Alexander’s ongoing tenure at the Commission, I submitted applications with relevant CVs twice for the position of DCEO: in 2014 and 2017 respectively. On both occasions, I presented to the Commission certificates in support of my qualifications documented in the respective CVs. Had I misrepresented myself in any manner, I submit that would have been sufficiently egregious a transgression to warrant my immediate dismissal with prejudice. Let it be known that this was not done, and I have no reprimand on my personnel file.We all know the outcome of my application for appointment to the position in 2018.In 2014, my appointment as DCEO flowed from a transparent recruitment process which involved (i) advertising the vacant position, (ii) receiving applications and shortlisting candidates, and (iii) the conduct of interviews by a panel comprising the GECOM Chairman, four Commissioners (two from both sides) and the Chief Election Officer.Please see https://www.stabroeknews.com/2014/news/guyana/08/14/new-deputy-chief-election-officer-appointed/While I expect that the entire foregoing may not serve to adequately counter a headline and front page misrepresentation accredited to Mr. Alexander, which has already led to my defamation and personal degradation, I wish nonetheless to be on record that the statements are baseless, reckless, defamatory, and malicious in their design.Allow me to close this missive with the firm declaration that, as the DCEO or any role held, I always conducted myself professionally, without fear or favour, and without bias in any area or level of my responsibilities. This was and will always remain the definition of my core as a human being and a professional, which I will steadfastly defend.Related MatterI have noted an article in the Guyana Chronicle of today (June 15, 2018) titled “Vishnu obtained Masters from a Training Centre”. The article opens with the position that the Master’s I hold is “actually a combination of elections-related training courses which he obtained from the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies (ICPS) and not an accredited University…”This is an outrageous, malicious, and outright lie which is obviously aimed at discrediting my suitability for the position in question.I do not have, and I never claimed to have, a Masters in Elections Management from the ICPS or any other institution. I read for, and was awarded, a Master’s of Business Administration by the Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom.I will respond in a separate letter for the third and hopefully final time to the accusation of alleged corrupt practices that was made against me.Sincerely,Vishnu PersaudFormer Deputy ChiefElection OfficerGECOM
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo’s Office has noted with concern that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has remained silent in the face of the imbroglio which has engulfed six local authority organs that have been unable to lawfully elect their Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairpersons and Deputies because of an equality of seats on those organs allocated to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC). In a press statement, Jagdeo’s Office explained that it is public knowledge that his Party launched legal proceedings and obtained a series of orders from the High Court quashing decisions of Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan who in violation of the law, purported to select the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mabaruma as well as the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the several Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) affected.The Opposition Leader’s Office further explained that orders were also obtained restraining the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons from functioning in those capacities and that orders were obtained mandating the Town Clerk of Mabaruma and the several overseers of the NDCs to appoint a date for new elections in the several local authority areas affected as the law prescribes. Jagdeo said these legal proceedings were filed not only to protect and defend the will of the electorate, but was also done to protect and preserve the Constitutional mandate of GECOM which is the authority that the Constitution has endowed with the exclusive responsibility in respect of and in relation to the conduct of elections. The statement said against this backdrop, GECOM’s silence and inaction amount to a gross abdication of its constitutional responsibilities.“It is obvious that were GECOM to assume its responsibilities, it will present some reprieve to this impasse. We call upon GECOM to snap out of this paralysis and begin to discharge its mandate now.”
By: Devina Samaroo, UKAhmadis from across the globe will participate in the grand three-day Muslim festival which begins today (Friday) in Hampshire, United Kingdom (UK).Guyana will be among 100 countries attending the event called the Jalsa Salana, an annual celebration now in its fiftieth year.The weekend-long activities are marked by prayers and speeches where worshippers celebrate the teachings of Islam and esteemed leaders address pertinent issues impacting the expanding Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.Participants also use the forum to discover new countries and experience new cultures, taste various dishes and perhaps even learn another language.This unique gathering, considered the largest of its kind in the UK, is also attended by parliamentarians, civic leaders and diplomats from various countries.A field of flags representing the member countries of the Ahmadiyya Muslim CommunityThe key feature is the presence of worldwide movement’s fifth Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad.On the final day of the celebrations, new followers pledge allegiance and existing adherents renew their pledges to His Holiness who serves as the worldwide spiritual and administrative head of this religious organisation, with membership exceeding tens of millions reaching over 200 countries.The religion was founded by Mizra Ghulam Ahmad in India in 1889, however, today it is still not accepted in some countries because its faith does not recognise Muhammad as the final prophet.While the general sect of the Muslim world believes Jesus Christ will return as the Messiah, the Ahmadis believe that the awaited Messiah came as Mizra Ahmad, who was the first Khalifa.In fact, they are considered apostates by other sects of Islam and in some states such as Pakistan, they are banned.Members on Thursday preparing the stage for the hoisting of the flag of the Ahmadiyya Muslim CommunityNonetheless, as time progressed, the community membership increased and eventually its first mosque was constructed in South West London in 1924.Then in 2003, the Baitul Futuh Mosque (House of Victories), belonging to the Ahmadiyya community, was inaugurated. Stretching across approximately five acres and with an accommodation capacity of 10,000 persons, it is Britain’s largest mosque and one of the largest in Western Europe.Leading up to the Jalsa Salana, guests from all over the world flocked both mosques, to enjoy the camaraderie through which they have meals and say prayers, all the while sharing their enthusiasm for the grand festival.There are approximately two million Ahmadis in the world. In Guyana, the community is numbered at about 300.Speaking to Guyana Times at the events site on Thursday where many preparatory activities were ongoing, Head of the Guyanese arm of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, Aftadudin Nassir explained that the culture is very vibrant locally.“We go out there and we do the work. We preach Islam, we are out on the streets and we talk to people and give the message of Islam to them. We are a small community but we are not deterred. We know we will grow,” Nassir said.Guyana will be hosting its 33rd local Jalsa Salana before yearend, celebrating decades of the presence of the religion within the country.Ahmadiyya Muslims in Guyana was established in the late 1950s in Sisters Village, Berbice. Its first and oldest mosque is located in that community. There are other places of worship across the country and the local organisation is hoping to commission a brand new mosque in Mahdia, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) before yearend.The faith was introduced to Guyana through a missionary who was posted in Trinidad and Tobago to spread the message of Islam. He soon became the first missionary in Guyana and thereafter, more missionaries were posted to continue to spread the message of peace which is the undertone of the community’s motto, “Love for all, hatred for none”.
…”ensure economic growth is inclusive, empowers people” – HDR reportGuyana and other Caribbean countries must draft new public policies to increase gains in the economic, social and environmental fronts while boosting climate and financial resilience and protecting people throughout their life cycles, stated the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) for the Caribbean, which was launched on Monday in Barbados.The report titled “Multidimensional Progress: human resilience beyond income” highlights the need to rethink the methods for ranking development in the Region’s countries that go beyond per capita income, economic growth rates and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).A statement from the UNDP said the report calls for governments and the Private Sector to rethink the Region’s progress along multidimensional lines, inspired by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).“The inspiration for this report comes from the strong demands of Caribbean leaders for more comprehensive metrics for assessing development, and for a more nuanced examination of the meaning of ‘graduation,’ recognising that income per capita does not reflect the vulnerabilities, development needs and challenges of middle income countries,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the launch of the report.The report also highlights the fact that Caribbean countries high debt hinders the ability to access finance for sustainable development, limiting the region’s ability to achieve the SDGs. In view of the development financing context in the Caribbean, the report demonstrates how, for the most part, Caribbean countries are ineligible for concessional finance due to their status as middle-income countries.With average national per capita income levels above the international financial eligibility benchmark, the report makes a case for a review of eligibility criteria to access concessional financing. It underscores the extreme economic and environmental vulnerabilities in Caribbean countries that – like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – make the Region’s countries special cases for development.“The challenges of sustainable, holistic and universal development do not end at a certain income threshold: we don’t ‘graduate’ from development challenges unless we can respond accordingly to the multiple dimensions that enable people to live the lives they consider valuable, ” UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean Director Jessica Faieta said.In line with the SDGs, the report stresses that on the one hand it is crucial to invest in people, environment, sustainable and affordable energy, institutional efficiency, stability and security as these are key factors to boost economic growth. On the other hand, it is essential to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, empowers people, leaves no one behind, and is not achieved at the expense of the environment.The report focuses on several groups and their “vulnerabilities”, which accumulate over a life cycle hindering people’s capacity to fulfil their potential and also to leave poverty behind, the report stresses.WomenIt said women are disadvantaged in the labour market, with lower paying jobs than men. Although they head nearly half of the Caribbean households, the participation of women in senior managerial jobs is still limited to about 25 per cent in the Region, with the exceptions of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados,” the report stated.HDR said while education can be a potential protective factor against women´s disadvantages in the labour market, women are still earning less than men and are proportionally holding fewer decision-making positions in the Public and Private Sectors.The report stresses that violence against women is a key challenge for the Caribbean, not only threatening lives but also negatively impacting all of society. Physical, sexual, psychological violence or a combination of them affect between 20 and 35 per cent of women in the Region.YouthThe report stated that the Region’s youth are also a critical group in vulnerability, with unemployment among this group ranging between 18 and 47 per cent, except in Trinidad and Tobago where it is 10 per cent.For young women, it stated that teenage pregnancy can hinder the possibilities of studying, working – and leaving poverty behind. It added that young men, especially in poor communities, are both the main victims and the main perpetrators of crime in the Region.
Indian High Commissioner to Guyana Venkatachalam MahalingamGPC Leader, Pandit Rudra SharmaGHDC Vice President Pandit Jagmohan PersaudIndian High Commissioner to Guyana Venkatachalam Mahalingam is being lobbied to provide assistance in resolving the holiday timing controversy, which has caused a division in the local Hindu community, most notably during the celebrations of hallmark events like Diwali and Phagwah.Massive confusion erupted last year after two Hindu organisations in the country failed to find middle ground on the date for the Festival of Lights – Diwali. This disagreement rolled over into the new year for the Festival of Colours – Phagwah, with the celebration being observed on two days. This again will be the case for Diwali celebrations 2016.The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) has declared that October 30 is the true date for the celebration of the holiday, while the Guyana Pandits Council (GPC) is holding out that it is October 29.Restore harmonyIn an effort to settle the controversy in order to restore harmony among Guyanese Hindus, the organisations have taken a decision to seek the intervention of an expert from India.The yet-to-be selected expert, who must be a member of the board responsible for setting national holidays in India and an astrologer, will be responsible for conducting his own study and making his own assessment of when the holidays ought to be held, and both organisations are hopeful that his pronouncement will be timely so as to avoid controversy next year.GHDS Vice President, Pandit Jagmohan Persaud, during an interview with Guyana Times on Tuesday, explained that the Indian High Commissioner responded via telephone after several requests were made.The organisations were still awaiting an official written response from the High Commission, pledging its assistance in this regard.Pandit Persaud expressed high hopes that by next year, the issue would be resolved.GPC Leader, Pandit Rudra Sharma, during a telephone interview with this newspaper also shared similar views.“It is extremely important to us to have this issue resolved, because it is dividing the Hindu community. It is not looking good and we would like to have this resolved as early as possible,” he stated.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that the economy of Liberia will be restored to its full potential, where all citizens will benefit equally from their nation’s resources.The Liberian leader made the assertion Wednesday, May 28, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she delivered her nationwide address on the state of the Liberian economy.According to the President, in order to restore Liberia’s economy to its full potentials effort will require changes in officials, prosecutions of offenders, challenges to partners, as well as reforms in policies and actions.Based on that, President Sirleaf said it would require various branches of government to continuously working together for the common good of those they were elected to serve.She stated that the country’s economy needs to be expanded to ensure that all Liberians participate in order to break down the walls of monopolies.“This is why all of us have determined and agreed that by the year 2030, more Liberians must have climbed from poverty to prosperity,” she indicated.“It therefore means that each of us (government) and private sector, civic society and non-governmental organizations, legislators and judges, community leaders and the media, students and workers – each of us, without necessarily compromising the demands of our individual callings, must also continue to act in ways that will ensure that ever so increasingly, more Liberians are enabled to work for and earn a decent living,” the President stated.Madam Sirleaf said Liberians should not just wait for a government job but must be empowered to own their own businesses and employ others.“Through these self-empowerment initiatives, more Liberians will be able to pay their bills, send their children to school, care for their families, travel if they desire,” she added.Madam Sirleaf noted that the Liberian economy remains fundamentally strong and poised to achieve its status among the comity of nations.“We will pass a budget. We will do this not because we will agree on everything the budget will contain, but because the overall leadership of our country remains in total agreement on a shared responsibility to lift all Liberians.”She said, however, that the economy is people. People in private business, people in official entities, must play their roles without prejudice in pursuing their goals.Notwithstanding these serious efforts, the rate of growth projected for 2014 is at 5.8 percent, which falls short of the growth rate projected in the Agenda for Transformation that calls for at least 8 percent annual growth rate “if “we are to stay on track in becoming a middle-income country by 2030.”
The Government of Liberia (GOL), through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), has commenced the process for the selection and appointment of an independent “Fiduciary Agent” to assist the government with the financial management of the Ebola Trust Fund (ETF).According to the MFDP, the decision to contract an independent financial management firm was intended to uphold government’s commitment to full transparency and accountability as announced recently by Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr. Amara M. Konneh.According to the Minister Konneh, if selected, the firm will provide the fiduciary service to manage the fund and supervise accounting related services, under the direction of the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, under the multi-donor governance structure.“It would be required to set up a sound financial management system to accurately record and report on all funds received and disbursed from the Trust Fund and providing regular fund management report,” the MFDP said in a statement.According to the Ministry, the firm would also provide oversight of all procurement functions to ensure compliance with established guidelines of the government as well as those of development partners. Among other things the MFDP expects from the entity trying to get the task, the firm would work to design specific procurement procedures and rules tailored to meet the standard guidelines of Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC).The firm would amongst others, provide technical support to the Incident Management System and oversee the procurement of goods, works, non-consulting services and (services) to be funded from the ETF.The government of Liberia in response to the Ebola virus epidemic established the Ebola Trust Fund (ETF) at the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) in a bid to attract resources from the government, private citizens and international donors.The Fund was created with an initial US$5 million injection through a loan facility from the Central Bank of Liberia. To date, the fund has raised over 10 million dollars, with more donations expected from foreign partners and friendly governments in the coming weeks.Recently the Liberian government announced it needed over US$ 375 million to effectively fund its National Ebola Response and Restoration of Basic Health Services strategy. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus has killed over 3,000 people in West Africa and infected over 5,000.Liberia is widely believed to be the worst hit country of the three most affected countries in the sub-region.The government is still grappling with the most effective way of containing the virus despite the presence of over 3,000 US marines, strong African Union (AU) presence on the ground and other medical organizations, including Medicine Sans Frontiers (MSF). The government recently announced “huge” hazard pay for public healthcare workers over the next six months in a bid to encourage fleeing healthcare workers to return to work and help save more lives.Many public hospitals are still practically deserted due to fear of contracting the virus by healthcare workers.Meanwhile, the US military has announced that it has constructed mobile Ebola testing labs at the Island Clinic on Bushrod Island, Montserrado County and the Gbarnga Ebola treatment unit (ETU) in Bong County, respectively.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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