The NEWS (Monrovia)

5 September 2014

Liberia: 'U.S. Visa Issuance Not Cut-Off'

United States Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac has dispelled rumors about the cancellation of the issuance of American visa.

There has been filtering rumors that the United States Government cut off the issuance of American visa due to the Ebola outbreak. Addressing a roundtable media interaction Tuesday in Monrovia, Ambassador Malac explained that the information is incorrect because cancellation of visa and restriction of travels are not the best ways in fighting the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), which is now considered as the worse outbreak in Africa.

Ambassador Malac said contrary to such rumors, the United States Embassy is opened and fully operating.

The U.S. envoy noted that the Embassy is fully staffed in assisting the Liberian government and citizens to collectively contain the spread of the virus which continues to kill people.

She said there are still Liberians, Guineans and Sierra Leoneans who are going to the United States during this Ebola period and nobody has been stopped from traveling. According to her, the only measure put in place by the Embassy in collaboration with airport authorities is the screening of individuals for fever.

Ambassador Malac told the media gathering that besides the usual visa requirements which applicants are to meet, the process has not been cut-off because there is no medical reason for that. "There is no reason to close borders; there is no reason to prevent travelers from other countries," she indicated.

Ambassador Malac further said the U.S. Embassy remains active in the country and continues to play its usual role.

She disclosed that the United States has committed more than US$21 million to combat the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa since its outbreak was first reported in March 2014.

She said the latest funding of $1.7 million will be used for the provision of direct food assistance to Ebola patients in Liberia through World Food Program (WFP).

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