The Manitoba government is poised to make its first donation to Ebola-devastated West Africa after a demonstration on the steps of the legislature Wednesday afternoon.
Members of Winnipeg’s Liberian community staged a walk to raise awareness for the humanitarian need in Ebola-devastated Liberia.
The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 1,500 in West Africa, including Liberia. Recently, the Liberian officials extended a stay-home order for all civil servants.
The country has also quarantined a slum called West Point, prompting violent clashes with Liberian police.
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In Winnipeg, about 50 demonstrators walked from city hall on Main Street to the Manitoba Legislature at 11 a.m. to try to drum up financial support and awareness for those affected by the outbreak.
Viola Kossigbo, who has many family members living in Liberia, says people there are terrified to leave their homes because of the deadly virus.
"My Mom, she quit her job…. She's a nurse and she's not working anymore; she decided to quit until this ceases," Kossigbo said.
Organizers of the demonstration said they hoped to speak to Premier Greg Selinger about their concerns.
Sharon Blady, Manitoba’s Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors, met demonstrators on the steps of the legislature and said money is coming.
“The province will make a donation to help agencies fighting Ebola. The details of this announcement are being worked out right now with the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation,” she said.
Blady would not say how much or when the money would be sent, but the donation will be the first from Manitoba since the outbreak.
Organizers said people in Liberia need medical help, including drugs and equipment as well as blankets, tents, protective gear, mattresses and other supplies.
Demonstrators also want the Government of Manitoba to send medical professionals to help locals deal with the outbreak.
Last week, a three-person team from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory was brought home from Sierra Leone under orders from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The team was recalled after people staying in their hotel contracted Ebola.