Photo taken on Jan. 22, 2020 shows an exterior view of the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO on Wednesday night extended to Thursday its emergency talks on whether the novel coronavirus outbreak in China constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Xinhua/Liu Qu)

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama has relayed the country’s strong and full support for the World Health Organization (WHO) in coordinating global efforts against the COVID-19 epidemic.

“In this critical moment of a global fight against the COVID-19, Nigeria is behind the WHO and urges you to remain focused in addressing not just the pandemic but other health challenges,” said Onyeama on Friday while receiving the new WHO Country Representative Walter Kazadi Mulombo who presented his Letters of credence, signaling formal resumption of duties.

The presentation, which took place in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, was witnessed by dignitaries from the ministry of foreign affairs and WHO country office.

During the brief event, Onyeama lauded the role of WHO in the response to COVID-19 and said Nigeria as well as other coordination mechanisms benefitted from the organisation’s technical expertise.

In his remarks, Mulombo appreciated the warm welcome to Nigeria, noting that Nigeria’s political commitment to the COVID-19 response is commendable and the country is among those making the difference in the continent.

Kazadi assured the minister that he will work with other UN agencies and partners to support the government in surmounting coordination challenges, especially in the humanitarian sector.

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