UNMEER-WHO Transition Message

The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) was established on 19 September 2014, mandated as a temporary measure to harness the capabilities of all the relevant UN actors under a singular operational crisis management system to reinforce unity of purpose among responders and to ensure a rapid and effective response to the Ebola crisis.

Considerable progress has been made in the effort to bring the outbreak under control and to scale up national and international response capacities in the three countries and the region, with support from the international community.

With a focused coordination of responders established, UNMEER has achieved its core objective. Now is time to transition to a critical third phase and end game of the outbreak. 

On 1 August, oversight of the UN system’s Ebola emergency response will transition fully from UNMEER to the World Health Organization (WHO), under the direct authority of the WHO Director-General.

The interagency convening and coordination role and the role of the Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone will now continue under the oversight of WHO and with the support of the UN Resident Coordinator, the Office of Humanitarian Affairs and the UN country teams to coordinate the activities under a singular operational crisis management system to reinforce unity of purpose to ensure a rapid and effective response to the Ebola crisis in the country. 

In practical terms, this means WHO will assume a dual role; retaining its role as technical health lead for the Ebola Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHIEC) and now also taking on the role of the interagency convening and coordination.

The Ebola Crisis Manager in Sierra Leone and a small team will continue to perform their functions and provide overall leadership and coordination.

Mr Peter Graaff will serve as the Regional Western Africa Interagency Ebola Crisis Lead, reporting to WHO Deputy Director General, Dr Bruce Aylward.

The United Nations family remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting and accompanying the Government and people of Sierra Leone in getting to and staying at zero cases.

The crisis is not over. At this critical juncture, additional resources are still needed by the United Nations and partners to sustain full support to the government’s efforts to end the outbreak and to support recovery activities in Sierra Leone.  

There is still considerable work to be done.  We are moving into a new phase of the response intensifying our work to identify and stop every chain of transmission until we reach zero cases

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For more information please contact: 

Bintou Keita, Ebola Crisis Manager for Sierra Leone – Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  

Dr Anders Nordström, WHO Representative in Sierra Leone -  Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it