News / Africa

    Hope Sparks in Liberia as US Soldiers Arrive to Help Fight Ebola

    People read newspaper headlines commenting on U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement on sending troops to fight the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 17, 2014.
    People read newspaper headlines commenting on U.S. President Barack Obama's announcement on sending troops to fight the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 17, 2014.

    It is lunchtime in Monrovia and the smell of chlorine is everywhere.

    Jacey Toe sits on her wooden cart under an umbrella while eating yellow saffron rice with fresh fish from the nearby ocean. The young street vendor, and mother of two, sells toothpaste, tissue and soap. The Ministry of Finance is just up the street.

    Toe said business is not going well these days. She makes about $18 a month. Before the Ebola crisis, her income was almost four times more.

    "Well, life in Monrovia is very difficult. The street people are not fine. Business [is] not running. Most of the government ministries are closed. [There are] no jobs,” she said.
     
    Another problem is that schools are closed and her children have to stay at home and have nothing to do.

    Six months into the world’s worst Ebola outbreak, Monrovians like Toe say the situation remains tense.

    But there is a growing sense of optimism the epidemic can be contained in Liberia, where citizens said they welcomed the help of the United States as the first of 3,000 soldiers arrived in the country to assist with medical logistics.

    “We pray that the American troops come and be able to help our Liberian sisters and brothers. Because it is killing a lot of people," Toe said. 

    Many share her optimism.
     
    Among other things, the United States has committed $175 million and will build 17 new health care facilities in the region with 100 beds each and train up to 500 health care providers per week.

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called America’s help “a significant moment in the battle against Ebola." She has promised she will not rest until Ebola is defeated.
     
    More than 100 U.S. military personnel should be in West Africa by the end of the week with more to follow.
     
    But 49-year-old community worker Matthew Sandiki said America’s help is only a starting point.
     
    “We also call on other nations, Germany, to join America, to help us fight Ebola because we cannot do it alone. Our health [care] system has broken down completely.”
     
    After U.S. President Barack Obama announced the U.S. troop deployment, the U.N.Security Council issued a call for all nations to provide assistance, calling Ebola a threat to international security.  
     
    At SKD sports complex, named after Liberia’s former president Samuel Doe, the United Nations is building a new transit hub to receive the loads of cargo that Liberia needs to contain the crisis.
     
    Construction supervisor Kennet Blixt said the site was chosen because of its location.
     
    “It is very convenient, close to the airport and pretty much on the main roads going up country and avoiding the city. Currently, most of the city’s storage capacities are at the port. So, to take it there from the airport, you have to go through the entire city,” he said.
     
    West Africa has been battling with other nations’ travel restrictions, something the World Health Organization says is unnecessary and will hamper international relief efforts.
     
    Ebola has infected more than 5,600 people and killed more than 2,800 this year, mostly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
     
    The World Health Organization said the number of people infected with Ebola could grow at an "explosive" rate, exceeding 20,000 by November, unless more is done quickly to control the outbreak.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Varmah Siryon from: Monrovia Center street.
    September 26, 2014 6:13 AM
    We as Liberians I asking other international panel pls help our Nation
    To fight this Ebola.

    by: Jonathan Flomo from: Liberia
    September 25, 2014 3:14 AM
    let the whole world joint the American in helping us combat the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora