Ms Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of MONUSCO, has said that partnership with the African Union is one of the priorities already highlighted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. She made this remark today during a meeting with H.E. Amira Elfadil Mohammed Elfadil, African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, in her office in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The Secretary-General highlights as priority our partnership with the African Union and we have been working with the African Union team in the field. Working with your team allows us to respond and function where we don’t have the capacity,” said Ms Zerrougui.
During the meeting, H.E. Elfadil expressed the need for a closer working relationship with the United Nations in providing security and backup emergency support for personnel in the field.
“My visit is to see how we can minimize risk for the people working in the field. We want to work more closely with the United Nations on security support for them, and evacuation in case of emergency,” said H.E. Elfadil.
She highlighted the different ways African Union has been supporting the Ebola response through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) since August 2018. These include the deployment of 41 experts to the field who are supporting surveillance, contract tracing, laboratory services, and risk communication. She said African Union has also provided equipment and training for health care workers and community members in different aspects of Ebola prevention and response.
H.E. Elfadil is on a working visit to the DRC to meet with key stakeholders and discuss new priorities for an expanded response to Ebola in the country and other countries in the region.
“The African Union Chairperson said we should visit the DRC to assess the situation and see what more can be done to end the Ebola outbreak as quickly as possible,” said H.E. Elfadil.
The commissioner will also visit some treatment centres in Butembo to see the situation in the filed, and meet with some of the field staff.