Widespread foundation support for Ebola crisis


Alliance magazine


The last two months have seen a spate of announcements of foundation support for the growing Ebola crisis. Among the most recent was the announcement on 16 October that Capital for Good had received a $250,000 grant from Pierre & Pam Omidyar for the Ebola Crisis Fund. Established in mid-August, the Ebola Crisis Fund has raised over $700,000 as an immediate response to help prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus and rebuild community infrastructure and trust weakened by the outbreak.

Established by Capital for Good and managed by Geneva Global, the Ebola Crisis Fund has been supported by a variety of donors, including the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, New Field Foundation, and the Legatum Foundation, which provided the initial seed funding.

On 14 October Mark Zuckerberg pledged $25 million to help combat Ebola. The money will go to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, the Facebook founder and philanthropist said on his Facebook page.

In its PND newsletter of 30 September, the Foundation Center had no fewer than three separate items detailing philanthropic responses to Ebola: from the IKEA Foundation and Bridgestone; from the Hewlett Foundation and HCA; and from the Wellcome Trust.

The Wellcome grant of $5.2 million will support a partnership comprising the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium, theUniversity of OxfordMédecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the Institut Pasteur, the Institut Pasteur de DakarFondation Mérieux, and the Global Health Network to rapidly assess candidate treatments in patients so those proved to be safe and effective can be adopted for use as soon as possible. Wellcome has also supported initiatives with the UK’s Department for International Development and the Dangote Foundation.

On 17 September PND announced commitments totalling $6.6 million from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

On 11 September, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $50-million contribution to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa and speed development of diagnostic tools and treatments. Much of the money will go immediately to the World Health Organization and other groups to expand emergency operations on the front lines of the outbreak.

Finally, the United States Agency for International Development has announced a $5 million Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development call for ideas focused on improving the tools used by frontline healthcare workers in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. In partnership with White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Defense, USAID will establish an open innovation platform to crowdsource and incubate ideas to improve care delivery and stem the spread of disease.

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