Ebola: West African countries and partners outline roadmap for recovery

Mar 3, 2015

UNDP CHIEF HELEN CLARK RECENTLY VISITED UNDP-SUPPORTED COMMUNITIES IN SIERRA LEONE AS THEY WORK TO STAMP OUT EBOLA. PHOTO DYLAN LOWTHIAN UNDP

Building back better requires better national capabilities, stronger community involvement

Brussels, Belgium -  As the international community works to get to zero Ebola cases in West Africa, the international community must work with Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to address the underlying causes of the crisis, said the UN’s development chief today at the Ebola Conference hosted by the European Union in Brussels.

“We must ensure recovery efforts address the drivers of the fragility which produced the crisis, including by building resilient institutions and systems and improved services, and by prioritising human development and citizen empowerment,” said Helen Clark, in her capacity as Chair of the United Nations Development Group.

Helen Clark stressed that while comprehensive, long-term development was important, it was imperative now to define and to meet urgent recovery needs.  She identified providing social protection and psycho-social support for Ebola survivors, orphans, and other vulnerable groups; restoring basic health services; providing a safe school environment for the return of students; restoring and creating jobs; and ensuring the wave of empowerment of local communities in the response to Ebola is sustained through community dialogue, participation, and decentralized governance.

She also warned that the epidemic was not yet over, and that there can be no complacency until there are zero cases.

“The international community must stay the course on getting to and staying at zero, as well as supporting those affected by the disease,” she said.

The disease has killed thousands of people and left many more without close family members and caregivers.  It has also affected virtually every economic sector in the three most affected countries, doing considerable damage to economies that were growing at encouraging rates only a year ago.

“It is incumbent on us all to support the three countries so that the serious development setbacks they have experienced are as short-lived as possible,” she concluded.

Contact information

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UN/UNDP Representation Office in Brussels, ludmila.tiganu@undp.org  T. +32 2 213 82 96


Nicolas Douillet, Communications Specialist, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, +1 212 906 5937 Nicolas.douillet@undp.org