Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to support Ebola-hit Liberia during a summit with the country's visiting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
"I told (the president) that Japan will boost cooperation with Liberia to provide assistance in the field of health and to rebuild its society and economy,"said Abe.
AdvertisementThe World Health Organization declared the end of the outbreak in the West African country on May 9 that claimed lives of more than 10,660 people in Liberia.
Abe said that Tokyo will provide Liberia with technical assistance to rebuild health systems and food aid through the World Food Program and will also contribute to peace and stability in Liberia, which has been on the road to recovery.
Sirleaf said, "The outbreak of Ebola had "devastating effects," particularly on the country's economy. We witnessed a sharp decline in our GDP. Our ability to continue our reconstruction work was interrupted by many who had to leave the country, understandably, out of fear of the disease."
"However, Japan's assistance has enabled the country to get back to work on its reconstruction. That support given to us bilaterally as well as support through international agencies has enabled us to mount an effective resistance to the place where today we say we have the confidence that we are able, if ever there is another outbreak, to control this virus," she said.
"We now can move back to resuming our work for the rebuilding of our country for ensuring that the services required by our people are delivered," Sirleaf added.
Sirleaf made her fifth visit to Japan since taking office in 2006 to attend the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, an international conference focusing on women, hosted by the Japanese government. She was awarded a Nobel Peace Price in 2011 for her contribution to peace-building and the empowerment of women. She won the prize jointly with Liberia's Leymah Gbowee and Yemen's Tawakel Karman.
Abe said, "We agreed to work toward a successful summit between Japan and the African nations, known as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, to be held in Kenya next August. The next TICAD will be its sixth, and will be held in Africa for the first time."