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Liberia’s ex-President to chair Independent evaluation of global COVID-19 response – WHO

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Thursday, the initiation of an Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WHO Boss said former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf former Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark will co chair the panel. Prime Minister Clark went to on lead the United Nations Development Programme and President Sirleaf is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

PM Clark and President Sirleaf will operate independently, and will choose other Panel members as well as members of an independent secretariat to provide support. 

“Prime Minister Clark and President Sirleaf were selected through a process of broad consultation with Member States and world experts. I cannot imagine two more strong-minded, independent leaders to help guide us through this critical learning process.” said Dr. Tedros in his speech.

Former Liberian president and Nobel laureate, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, knows firsthand what it’s like to face a deadly virus outbreak. The 2014-15 Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa was the deadliest Ebola epidemic in history, resulting in over 11,000 deaths in the region. Without an effective vaccine or therapeutic agent, the epidemic overwhelmed the already weak local health systems, while exposing an unprepared and incoherent global health system. 

As a former President and a physician from Liberia, she was directly engaged in the country’s Ebola epidemic in 2014-16.

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