The United States has allocated considerable resources to the Ebola response — more than any other country — but the President has made clear that we cannot take on this challenge alone. That’s why you’ve seen this Administration reach out to leaders across the globe to build an international coalition that has grown by the day. But beyond the important role that countries large and small play, we’ve been heartened to see the outpouring of support from the private and non-profit sectors.
Hundreds of millions of dollars from individuals, companies, and non-profits have complemented the more than $1.5 billion in contributions from countries around the globe. Just today, in fact, we learned of significant new commitments from two American technology companies: Google and Facebook.
Google today announced that both the company and the Larry Page Family Foundation will each make significant contributions to the Ebola response. For its part, Facebook will leverage the power of its 1.3 billion-strong global network to solicit donations for organizations on the front lines of this fight.
Beyond their monetary contributions, both companies are donating much-needed technology — from communications tools to medical supplies — to enable those on the front lines in the affected countries to mount a more effective response. Facebook’s announcement builds on prior Ebola contributions by the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.
Google and Facebook are just two of a growing coalition of private and non-profit organizations heeding this urgent call. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Mark Zuckerberg Foundation, Humanity United, and the Skoll Foundation, among many others, have announced important commitments to fight Ebola. And earlier this week, we learned that the World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, pledged $450 million to support trade, investment, and employment in the affected West African countries. Beyond financial generosity, USAID has called for innovations that can help health care workers on the front lines provide better care and stop the spread of Ebola, and the private sector is lending its creativity and expertise to many challenging aspects of the response.
Our whole-of-government response, led by the White House, is absolutely critical to combating Ebola in Africa and here in the United States. Other governments and international institutions have a critical role, as well. But the creativity, agility, and generosity of the private sector and non-governmental organizations are as vital as these government and institutional responses, and in some cases, even more so. Indeed, a global coalition of countries, non-profits, and the private sector, along with indispensable help from individual citizens, will allow us to contain and end this epidemic.
For information on how you can help support the fight against Ebola, please visit http://www.usaid.gov/ebola.