President Robert Mugabe has paid tribute to the African Union and the African Union Commission for their sterling leadership role in the fight against Ebola by mobilising the private sector on the continent which raised more than US$32 600 000 that was channelled towards fighting the deadly epidemic that devastated three countries in West Africa.
Cde Mugabe, who is the AU chairperson, also made a clarion call to the international community to scale up its preparedness and capacity to handle and manage disasters, especially health epidemics which have the potential of spreading very quickly and cause devastating effects.
President Mugabe was speaking at the high level International Ebola Recovery Conference underway at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The conference is expected to raise at least US$3.2 billion required by the three most affected countries - Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - over the next two years to be able to recover from the effects of Ebola.
President Mugabe, together with Presidents from the three most affected countries, UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon, the Acting President of the General Assembly Maria Cristina Perceval, representatives from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, among others, are attending the meeting.
In his opening speech, UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon thanked President Mugabe and the presidents of the affected countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - for attending the conference.
He called on the world to continue supporting the affected countries as they implement their recovery strategies.