The David and Lucile Packard Foundation granted $2 million in funding to support Ebola response efforts in West Africa. The current Ebola epidemic, primarily focused in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, is the largest in history. As of December 2014, more than 16,000 people have been documented as either a confirmed, probable, or suspected Ebola case, of which 7,000 have died. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation awarded two grants to help scale up response efforts to contain the outbreak: $1 million to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation (CDC Foundation) and $1 million to the American National Red Cross.
As one of the world’s authorities on communicable disease, the CDC has been at the forefront of public health efforts to support control of this disease. Similarly, the Red Cross has decades of experience, a well-established network and infrastructure from which it can prepare for and provide rapid response. Funds awarded to the CDC Foundation will support Emergency Operations Centers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone and help strengthen health care systems in these countries. This work will focus on providing much needed health supplies, training health care professionals on infection control, and communications focused on changing behaviors to prevent further spread of Ebola. Funds awarded to the American National Red Cross will be channelled to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross in Sierra Leone to scale up relief efforts throughout the country. Supported activities include the promotion of safe and dignified burials, disease tracing, psychosocial support and data collection through mobile phones.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is honored to assist these organizations and their heroic efforts to contain spread of the virus and to treat those affected by the largest Ebola outbreak in history.