Johnson Sirleaf leads evaluation of global COVID-19 response
July 13, 2020
EX-President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is to co-chair, with the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, an independent panel to evaluate the world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 73rd World Health Assembly took the decision in May to establish the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR), which is expected to present its findings in May next year.
Mrs Johnson Sirleaf was one of three women jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, while Ms Clark headed the UN Development Programme (UNDP) from 2009 to 2017.
The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said of the appointments: “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.
“This is a time for self-reflection, to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control.
“The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation,” Dr Tedros added.
He went on: “This is not a standard report that ticks a box and is then put on a shelf to gather dust.
“This is something we take seriously.
“We learn honestly, and we follow through too, honest to the assessment, and honest to the follow through and implementation.”
On the battle to curb COVID-19, Dr Tedros said: “Even as we fight this pandemic, we must be readying ourselves for future global outbreaks and the many other challenges of our time such as antimicrobial resistance, inequality and the climate crisis.
“COVID-19 has taken so much from us.
“But it is also giving us an opportunity to break with the past and build back better.”