Press Release: Paul G. Allen Announces New Humanitarian Grants to Meet Real-Time Needs in Ebola-Stricken West Africa
Support Will Provide Critical Basic Needs and Essential Infrastructure. Action Against Hunger, AmeriCares and Direct Relief to Receive Portion of Allen’s $100 Million Commitment.
SEATTLE, Nov. 6, 2014 – Philanthropist Paul G. Allen today announced new grants to provide immediate humanitarian relief to address basic human needs that are being threatened by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Beginning today, these grants will enable aid organizations to provide food, supplies and prevention kits and rebuild local treatment centers in Ebola-stricken areas.
Last month, Mr. Allen announced he is increasing his commitment to fight Ebola to at least $100 million. With these latest grants, more than half of Mr. Allen’s $100 million pledge has now been committed to projects dedicated to preventing, containing, treating and addressing the effects of Ebola.
Mr. Allen’s new commitments to humanitarian efforts are:
- A $1.9 million grant to Action Against Hunger, to provide food for isolated patients, construct water kiosks and hand washing stations, improve Ebola prevention awareness, and train community health volunteers. Among the specific results of this grant will be the building of 20 water kiosks in at-risk communities in Sierra Leone; the distribution of hand washing basins, soaps and chlorine to 60 community public spaces in Liberia; and the sharing of 1,600 Information Education and Communication materials in 80 Liberian communities and 60 institutions.
- A $1.35 million grant to AmeriCares, to provide additional supplies and services to under-resourced clinics to improve the county health system in Grand Bassa County in Liberia. Specifically, the grant will allow for the provision of personal protective equipment throughout the most affected countries, as well as stronger communication among local clinics and care centers, and Ebola training and capacity building for local health care workers. This work will allow the central hub for Grand Bassa to plug in to Ebola Treatment Units and county health systems in four neighboring counties and provide technical assistance for similar interventions.
- A $1 million grant to Direct Relief, to support the continued delivery by Direct Relief of medical supplies and logistical support on the ground in Ebola-affected West African nations. To date, Direct Relief has sent 140 tons of medical materials via airlifts and ocean freight containers.
Mr. Allen’s support will ensure protection of medical professionals in the field through the provision of medicines, preventive supplies, and personal protective equipment, provide transportation of medical supplies from healthcare supply manufacturers to Africa, and assist in the setup of an end-to-end coordinated procurement and supply distribution system to guarantee efficient distribution of medical supplies to limit the spread of Ebola. Supplies will be distributed to four partner organizations working in 747 primary health and Ebola treatment centers in Liberia and Sierra Leone. These supplies will also support the work of 800 community health workers in 500 villages in both countries and allow them to do their jobs safely without fear of catching the disease.
To date, more than half of Mr. Allen’s $100 million pledge has been allocated to the fight against Ebola. These funds have enabled:
- The delivery of 60,000 protection kits to West Africa.
- More than 8,500 people trained to help.
- Nearly 200,000 pounds of supplies sent.
- Approximately 250 healthcare clinics to be supported.
- Twenty aid flights, to deliver needed equipment and supplies, scheduled to take place by the end of 2014.
- Three emergency operations facilities under construction and to be staffed.
“The effects of Ebola extend well beyond those infected,” said Mr. Allen. “The side effect is depriving people of basic human needs. These grants will enable the people of West Africa to quickly receive essential care and supplies they need to get through this crisis.”
“Action Against Hunger is working closely with health and aid agencies in Sierra Leone and Liberia to stop the spread of Ebola,” said Andrea Tamburini, CEO of Action Against Hunger. “Support from Mr. Allen ensures the lifesaving work of educating communities about the virus, improving water conditions in health facilities, training community health workers on how to detect and refer suspected Ebola patients, and building the capacity to respond will continue.”
“The best way to halt the epidemic is to support frontline health workers in West Africa, and Mr. Allen has taken a real leadership role in that regard,” said AmeriCares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “With the foundation’s support AmeriCares will make lasting change in health care delivery and restore confidence for patients and health workers.”
“Direct Relief’s longstanding partners in Liberia and Sierra Leone are working heroically to combat Ebola while maintaining essential health services for everything and everyone else,” said Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief.
Mr. Allen's Contributions to Date:
From the early days of the outbreak, Mr. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have focused on finding, funding and coordinating strategic solutions that address the most critical needs and can be deployed quickly. Mr. Allen has also created TackleEbola.com to provide an easy way for individuals to contribute to specific organizations and fund critical response needs. To date, Mr. Allen has committed funding towards implementing the following solutions:
- A contribution to the American Red Cross to fund equipment, volunteers and educational materials in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. (August 2014)
- A matching grant to Global Giving, which more than 700 donors doubled in only four days. Ten groups received funding to distribute sanitation supplies, conduct training sessions and produce public service announcements. (August 2014)
- A partnership with UNICEF to airlift 50,000 protection kits into Liberia. (September 2014)
- A partnership with Airlink to execute a continuous air bridge to deliver critically needed medical protective gear and pharmaceuticals. (September 2014)
- A grant to the CDC Foundation to establish CDC emergency operations centers in the most-affected countries, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. These centers are helping to develop a systematic response with improved data management and communication systems for disease and patient contact tracing, which will ultimately help to detect and stop the disease from spreading. (September 2014)
- Funding to Medical Teams International (MTI) to help provide infrastructure, housing and transportation needs for MTI's staff in Liberia. (September 2014)
- A partnership with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontieres to support their existing Ebola emergency programs in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. (September 2014)
- A grant to BBC Media Action to support education and communications programs in the affected countries aimed at increasing public knowledge and awareness, supporting the government in responding to the crisis and instilling safer health practices among local audiences. (October 2014)
- The establishment of the Ebola Medevac Fund to fund and develop two Medevac containment units that can be used to safely evacuate medical professionals from West Africa. (October 2014)
- A partnership with University of Massachusetts Medical School to help provide training, medical workers, and lab equipment for relief efforts in Liberia. (October 2014)
For more information, visit www.tackleebola.com and follow @TackleEbola and @PaulGAllen on Twitter or Facebook.