Ebola: African First Ladies to dispatch relief materials to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea

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PRETORIA – The African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM), said on Saturday that it would dispatch relief materials soon to the Ebola Virus Diseases (EVD) countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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The AFLPM President and Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, said this at the opening of the third Executive Bureau meeting of the Association in Pretoria. “There is need to undertake a mission to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, currently confronting the challenge of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

“Given the increasing loss of lives and the great need for humanitarian assistance in those countries, it is essential that the Peace Mission rallies support for our sisters and children there.

“I propose that our mission should dispatch relief materials to them in the coming months,’’ she said.

Jonathan said that under her stewardship, the Association had continued to provide humanitarian support for refugees and internally displaced persons.

She explained further that relief items including food and materials were presented to victims of conflicts in Guinea Bissau, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

According to her, this activity has become an integral component of the mission’s activities which must be sustained.

She said since inception in 1995, the AFLPM was conceived as a parent body of the continent’s first ladies with the mandate to promote the cause of peace and coordinate humanitarian efforts across Africa.

“It has stood its ground as the all-embracing forum of all first ladies of our dear continent in advancing the noble ideals of peace.

“Given this scenario, we all have a collective responsibility to ensure that Peace Mission remains focused and undistracted.

“This is a legacy that we must reinforce in our best interest and of generations to come,’’ she said.

Earlier, Mrs Nompumelelo Zuma, first lady of South Africa, said the people of that country shared the same enthusiasm and passion for conflict resolution, peacekeeping and post conflict resolution as that of the AFLPM.

“South Africa will continue to support all efforts aimed towards cultivating the culture of peace as this will lay a strong foundation for the development of our continent.

It is also our belief at the AFLPM, that we should continue to align our programmes with regional and continental programmes so as to achieve good results,’’ Zuma said.

The meeting will afford members the opportunity to take stock of what has been done since the last meeting in March in Abuja.

Other issues to be considered include construction of the AFLPM permanent secretariat, financial status of member countries and the hosting of the eighth AFLPM Summit in 2015.

Members of the bureau include first ladies of Congo Brazaville, Cameroun, Sudan and South African — the host country. (NAN)

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