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ECOWAS Humanitarian Mission Assists Victims Of Disasters In Guinea

An ECOWAS High Level mission arrived in Conakry, the Republic of Guinea on Sunday, January 14, 2024 to deliver humanitarian assistance to victims of the recent fuel dump explosion which resulted in loss of lives, injuries, damage to properties and forced displacement of residents of parts of Conakry, the capital city.

On December 19, 2023, the residents of Kaloum Quarters in the Capital city woke up to a massive explosion from the major fuel dump in the city resulting in loss of lives, injuries damage to properties, forced displacement and eventual loss of livelihood for the residents of the affected zone in Conakry.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Alieu Omar Touray responded to the devastation by approving a high-level mission led by the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr.

The Mission included the Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, the Director of Administration and General Services, the Executive Assistant to the Commissioner and a technical officer from the Directorate of Humanitarian and Social Affairs. During the 4 days mission, the team, supported by the ECOWAS Resident Representative to Guinea, met high level representatives of the Government.

The ECOWAS High level mission delivered a condolence and solidarity message to the Government and People of the Republic of Guinea and reaffirmed the ECOWAS Commission’s commitment to accompany the Government of Guinea in its efforts to build community resilience to disasters and catastrophic events. Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr recalled the historical linkage of Guinea to not only the West Africa region but the entire Africa at large and expressed the value ECOWAS accords to this relationship.

The Commissioner then announced the donation of humanitarian relief materials including food, medication, emergency shelter among others to the tune of One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($100,000) by the ECOWAS Commission.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Guineans Abroad, His Excellency Dr. Morissanda Kouyate received the ECOWAS message on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Guinea.

The Minister recognized the importance of ECOWAS to the region and acknowledged the need to continue to belong to this important organization which is a fulcrum to the overall development and integration of West Africa as a subset to the African continent.

The ECOWAS High Level mission used the occasion to conclude the signing of the Agreement between the ECOWAS Commission, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization and the Agency for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs of Guinea for the sum of $499,930 to support recovery and resilience building for those impacted by natural disasters such as flooding.

The agreement was endorsed by the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization of the Republic of Guinea on behalf of the Government.

This was followed with a visit by the ECOWAS delegation to the Situation Room of the Agency where the Director of the Agency, Lancei Toure briefed on the structure and operations of the Agency as well as the humanitarian and disaster situation in the Country.

On the 17th of January 2024, the ECOWAS Head of Delegation, Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr accompanied by the ECOWAS Resident Representative to Guinea had an audience with the Prime Minister Dr Bernard Gomou.

In addition, a meeting was held with the Minister for the Promotion of Women, Nannette Conte at the side-lines of the mission.

Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established when the ECOWAS Treaty was signed by 15 West African Heads of State and Government on the 28th of May 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria.

The ECOWAS region spans an area of 5.2 million square kilometers. The Member States are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Considered one of the pillars of the African Economic Community, ECOWAS was set up to promote co-operation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in West Africa to raise the living standards of its peoples, and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations-among Member States and contribute to the progress and development of the African continent.

In 2007, ECOWAS Secretariat was transformed into a Commission. The Commission is headed by the President, assisted by a Vice President, and Five Commissioners, comprising experienced bureaucrats who are providing the leadership in this new orientation.

As part of this renewal process, ECOWAS is implementing critical and strategic programs that will deepen cohesion and progressively eliminate identified barriers to full integration. In this way, the estimated 300 million citizens of the community can ultimately take ownership for the realization of the new vision of moving from an ECOWAS of States to an “ECOWAS of the People: Peace and Prosperity to All” by 2050.          

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