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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Orders Departure of Eligible Family Members from Sierra Leone


Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 14, 2014

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At the recommendation of the U.S. Embassy in Sierra Leone, the State Department today ordered the departure from Freetown of all eligible family members (EFMs) not employed by post. The Embassy recommended this step out of an abundance of caution, following the determination by the Department’s Medical Office that there is a lack of options for routine health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak.

We are reconfiguring the Embassy staff to be more responsive to the current situation. Our entire effort is currently focused on assisting U.S. citizens in the country, the Government of Sierra Leone, international health organizations, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the Sierra Leonean people to deal with this unprecedented Ebola outbreak.

We remain deeply committed to supporting Sierra Leone and regional and international efforts to strengthen the capacity of the country’s health care infrastructure and system -- specifically, the capacity to contain and control the transmission of the Ebola virus, and deliver health care.

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