The United Nations (UN) have commended President John Dramani Mahama for his leadership, foresight, courage and inspirational role to host the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Accra.
“On behalf of Mr Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General extend the world body’s sincere appreciation for the support and decisive leadership exhibited by President Mahama and the government of Ghana for generously hosting UNMEER at that difficult time,” Mr Maged Abdelaziz, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa, stated on behalf of the UN Secretary General in New York.
Mr Abdelaziz made the commendation at a high-level meeting of ECOWAS Ministers in Charge of Gender and Women’s Affairs at the margins of the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
UNMEER was established on September 19, 2014 after the unanimous adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 69/1, and the adoption of the Security Council Resolution 2177 (2014) on the Ebola outbreak.
UNMEER was set up as a temporary measure to meet immediate needs related to the unprecedented fight against Ebola and Ghana under the leadership of President Mahama, who is also the current ECOWAS Chairman, accepted to host the mission.
Mr Abdelaziz also commended the ECOWAS President, Mr Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, and the African Union, for supporting and joining global efforts to combat the Ebola Viral Disease, especially in the most affected countries.
The President of the Bureau of Ministers of Social Development for ECOWAS, Nana Oye Lithur, who chaired the high-level meeting, recounted that Ebola has caused so much humanitarian disaster, displaced many people, created a wave of orphans, and also negatively impacted on the economic fortunes of affected countries and the sub-region as a whole.
She said Ebola recovery measures should address the needs of women and harness their leadership roles as caregivers, change agents and community leaders.
“It is vital that women are equipped with requisite knowledge on Ebola so that they are able to support the Ebola prevention programmes. We request that the planning, programming, procurement, management, community programmes and recovery processes be made gender sensitive and participatory.
“Gender disaggregated data should be collected at all times,” Nana Oye Lithur, who is also Ghana’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, stated.
The Gender Minister challenged the international community, governments and other stakeholders to focus on women as key agents of change and social mobilizers with a central role to play in sharing knowledge, raising awareness and enhancing care.
“We as ministers in charge of Women Affairs in the ECOWAS sub-region are committed to prioritizing gender and sustaining progress in fulfilling the gender agenda,” she noted.
The ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Gender and Women’s Affairs also used the platform to evaluate the negative socioeconomic impact of Ebla hemorrhagic on West African women and proposes a regional programme to support the reintegration of victims in affected countries.
The high-level ECOWAS Gender Ministers meeting also assessed the impact of EVD on West African women; adopted a common strategy and innovative actions to limit the negative consequences of EVD on women and facilitate their rapid socio-economic rehabilitation by monitoring the gender indicators in the post-Ebola response.