UNDP to provide support to Ebola first responders

18 Aug 15

The United Nations Development Programme has started a year-long project to reintegrate volunteers who have been helping to fight the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone back into the country’s workforce.

UNDP, along with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will initially provide $1.9m to the project, which will start by providing 800 first responders with vocational training to reintegrate them into their communities.

“As the Ebola response winds down and hazard pay draws to a close, many of them will be left without a job,” the UNDP said.

“Those of school age will find difficulties returning to normal life after the gruelling work and seeing the disease wreak havoc on their communities.”

UNDP director for Sierra Leone Sudipto Mukerjee said this was a historic initiative for the Ebola recovery and urged communities “to embrace these young people as heroes.”

There are still more than 2,300 active volunteers working in dangerous conditions to prevent the spread of the disease, the UNDP noted.

The UN also confirmed yesterday that there had been no new Ebola cases reported in Sierra Leone in past week for first time since the outbreak began.

“This is very good news but we have to keep doing this intensive working with communities to identify potential new cases early and to rapidly stop any Ebola virus transmission,” said the World Health Organisation’s representative in Sierra Leone Dr. Anders Nordstrom said.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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