New fund allows the public and philanthropists to support the response to history’s second-biggest Ebola outbreak
Public health advocates today announced the creation of The Ebola Fund, which allows philanthropists and individual givers to support the response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The Ebola Fund will concentrate funding toward the biggest needs on the ground,” Dr. David Nabarro, former UN Special Envoy for Ebola, said. “By mobilizing resources, The Ebola Fund will help close the financial gap for the outbreak response in the short-term, and find solutions that bring us one step closer to eliminating Ebola as a global threat in the long-term.”
The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the world’s second-largest, after the 2014-15 West Africa outbreak which killed more than 11,000 people. The current outbreak is occurring in an active conflict area, where there have been attacks on medical personnel and treatment centers. As of June 8, there were 2,056 cases, including 1,384 deaths. There are 271 suspected cases being investigated.
“This outbreak is at a tipping point. During the West Africa outbreak, this is the point when infections started to increase,” said Ronald Klain, former “Ebola Czar” under President Obama. “While the security situation is a very difficult one, there is great risk that the outbreak will spread over international borders.”
In contrast to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there is little funding coming in from private donations to support the organizations responding to the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Despite the urgency and the need for additional funding, philanthropic donors haven’t stepped up like they did in the 2014,” said Gabrielle Fitzgerald, who led the largest philanthropic initiative in support of the West Africa outbreak. “Non-governmental organizations need backing and support to continue the operations that save lives, increase local community engagement, and build trust between communities and outbreak response efforts.”
The Ebola Fund was created to enable philanthropists and individuals to support preparation for, and response to, Ebola outbreaks.
The first priority of The Ebola Fund is to support immediate, on-the ground needs, in response to the outbreak in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. By collaborating with those leading the response in the DRC, The Ebola Fund gives donors an opportunity to target their resources toward the greatest needs on the ground. In addition, The Ebola Fund provides a tax-deductible donation mechanism that allows donors to support the Ebola response efforts.
“We need capital to support the immediate Ebola response in the DRC. But in West Africa the money dried up after the outbreak ended and there were significant issues left unaddressed like rebuilding the health system and capacity for emergency preparedness. In the future, we hope this fund will enable us to carry forward those issues.” Fitzgerald said.