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West African countries offer aid to Sierra Leone, China donates $1m

West African countries offer aid to Sierra Leone, China donates $1m

Sierra Leone

Neighbouring West African countries have come to the aid of Sierra Leone after a deadly mudslide on Monday swept away homes killing over 300 people, with over 2,000 displaced in the capital Freetown.

Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe and Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) donated $500,000 to President Ernest Bai Koroma during his visit to the country on Thursday.

He expressed his country and the region’s sympathies to Sierra Leoneans and wished that the money could help in emergency response efforts.

Gnassingbe’s gesture was complemented by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain De Souza, who donated $300,000 for food and medical aid on behalf of the regional body.

De Souza accompanied the Chairperson Faure Gnassingbe to Freetown.

Senegal and the Ivory Coast sent delegations to Freetown on Wednesday to express their condolences to President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Senegal donated $100,000 and the Ivory Coast gave a tonne and a half of medical supplies.

The Guinean President and African Union Chairperson Alpha Conde visited the country a day earlier to personally express his sympathies.

On Thursday, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited Freetown and joined President Koroma at the burial of the victims.

Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo also said on Thursday that his country is sending relief items to Sierra Leone to aid in the recovery process.

The Ghana government has also set up a centre at the foreign affairs ministry to receive donations from the public to be sent to Sierra Leone.

Groups, organisations and individuals have also launched campaigns for donations to support victims of the mudslide that was caused by torrential rains.

President Ernest Bai Koroma, who appealed for urgent support after the disaster, praised the show of solidarity by the countries in the region.

“Such solidarity shows a sense of belonging in the typical African way when one of us is facing difficulties,” he said on Thursday.

He described the tragedy as unprecedented and thanked the donors for the timely intervention.

China made the biggest donation since the disaster struck by offering a million dollars for disaster relief including aid workers to offer medical help to injured victims.

The African Union Commission had called on Africans in the continent, diaspora and international partners to support Sierra Leone.

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