AU foreign ministers to meet on Ebola

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Addis Ababa, 3 September 2014 (WIC) - The African Union (AU) will hold a meeting with the Foreign Ministers of its 54-member states in Addis Ababa on 8 September 2014 to discuss the response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which has caused a humanitarian crisis and food shortages around the West African region, a senior official said Tuesday.   

Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, said the meeting would discuss proper response measures to Ebola by seeking to limit its drastic effects on other sectors of the regional and continental economy.

“The Ebola outbreak is a threat to the values and aspirations of the AU. The AU stands for regional integration. We do not want to imagine the consequences the closure of the borders would have now and in future,” Kaloko told journalists here Tuesday.   

“It is hard to imagine that a people surrounded by such a crisis and death still have to encounter food shortages because the markets are closed and the borders are shut,” Kaloko said.   

The Foreign Ministers will discuss commitments and steps that are required to be taken to handle the crisis.   

Kaloko said the Foreign Ministers are allowed to bring along to the meeting their country’s Ministers of Health, but noted that the political commitments required go beyond the ministries of health alone.      

Burkina Faso has announced a ban on food imports from the rest of the Ebola-affected countries while Cote d'Ivoire shut its borders to neighbouring countries, even though it has now decided to open a humanitarian corridor. (PANA)