The story of UNMIL [Book]: UN Police take on Ebola
The protracted 27-month period of the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia was a challenging time for the UN Police. The UN Security Council had proclaimed the disease a threat to international peace and stability. Understandably, the immediate priorities of the Liberia National Police and the Liberia Immigration Service changed, and UNPOL’s reform and restructuring efforts were put on hold, as they moved to assist Liberia’s security agencies charged with supporting the health and humanitarian efforts to stop the spread of the disease. The majority of the 1,428UN Police officers in Mission at the time did not leave the country, but remained to help their national counterparts to implement the Government’s state of emergency and provide security support to the overwhelming health and humanitarian responses required, while simultaneously ensuring that sound risk management strategies were in place for staff safety and well-being. UNPOL supported the establishment of control measures, making sure procedures and processes were followed to stop the spread of the disease. They worked in areas where the disease was present, putting their lives on the line to help with the crisis response. Lessons were learned to enhance response should such a crisis reoccur.