Secretary-General calls for "historic push" to end Ebola

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Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF File Photo/UNI171713/Griggers

The recovery from the deadly Ebola disease epidemic in West Africa must continue to be an international priority even after the outbreak subsides, the UN Secretary-General told heads of state in New York on Friday.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at an international global conference on Ebola aimed at raising US$3.2 billion to support the three countries most affected by the disease: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General said Ebola has undermined development in countries that were on the path to growth. 

While efforts to end the disease are working, he admitted the final stretch towards recovery remains challenging. 

He said Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will continue to need international support in order to implement recovery plans over the next two years. 

"We can largely be proud of what we have achieved in responding to this unprecedented crisis. Yet we cannot breathe a sigh of relief – instead, let us collectively take a deep breath and resolve to finish the job. I call on you to be part of this historic push to end the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and support the leaders and people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in returning to a path of sustainable development." 

The Secretary-General also thanked the many partners who have helped to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 11,000 people. 

They include African leaders, medical teams, volunteers and thousands of people who, in his words, had "put their lives on the line to slow the advance of this disease." 

Dianne Penn, United Nations.     

Duration: 1’15″

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