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Guinea/Ebola epidemic

Published on December 2, 2014
Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at Conakry International Airport

Conakry, November 29, 2014

Mr President, cher Alpha Condé,

I wanted to be here, in Guinea, to show France’s solidarity in the ordeal your country is going through. It isn’t the only one experiencing this situation, because there’s also Sierra Leone and Liberia. But we’re bound by the ties between our two countries, Guinea and France.

I want to begin here by paying tribute to members of the government – the Health Minister, the Development Minister – who have shown willing, not just for today’s visit, but from the first few days, when we learned of this disease.

There’s the mobilization of our military personnel – I want to pay tribute to them – through various actions: a centre to care for medical staff, several centres to train medical staff, and treatment centres. I want to pay tribute to the organizations dedicated to this, to provide care for the people of Guinea.

I’ve also come with a certain amount of essential equipment in order for you to face up to this challenge. You yourselves have also put in place a number of structures with your own resources, which are limited. We are duty-bound to support you.

I’m going with you to the OIF [international Francophone organization] summit tomorrow and will make a fresh appeal for international mobilization. But France must set the example. An example, firstly, on the financial front: we’ve released €100 million. But beyond what we can do to provide material assistance, it’s human assistance which is most significant.

With me today on this visit are doctors and the Director of the Institut Pasteur, because we also want to contribute to the research effort so that tomorrow we can find vaccines, tests and any other solution to soothe, treat and prevent.

We’re all making a fine gesture together – and I mean together, because France is here, in Guinea, to provide a number of capabilities, resources, personnel etc.

But Guinea, through its own prevention and care effort, is sparing the whole world – and thus Europe and France – from being contaminated by this terrible virus.

We are together in this fight and in this battle. It was very important, 15 years after a French president last visited, for me to be here with you to display friendship, solidarity and hope.

Thank you, Mr President./.

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