Ebola Response: Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Grants $1 Million to Direct Relief

Direct Relief Airlifts Emergency Ebola Aid

Last month, Philanthropist Paul G. Allen announced he is increasing his commitment to fight Ebola to at least $100 million. Today, Mr. Allen announced a $1 million grant to Direct Relief to scale up the organization’s relief efforts in Ebola-affected West African nations.

The effects of Ebola extend well beyond those infected. 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. – Paul G. Allen

With Mr. Allen’s support, Direct Relief will focus on the following near-term priorities to meet the urgent needs of frontline health providers:

  • Restock and reopen 100 health centers staffed by 1,500 health workers by providing kits containing a stock of essential items. The contents of these kits were developed by Harvard-trained doctors working in Liberia and approved by the Ministry of Health to set the standard for ensuring a safe and well-functioning health facility.
  • Ensure safe births by providing 267 Midwife Kits to Liberia and Sierra Leone – enough for 13,350 deliveries. In Sierra Leone alone, pre- and post-natal care visits are down 28 percent, and delivery with a skilled birth attendant is down 16%. Estimates show that maternal mortality may rise to 15 percent as a result of the Ebola crisis.
  • Equip 47 Ebola treatment facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Direct Relief will pre-package the supplies per facility to ensure efficient in-country receiving and immediate delivery. This will help remove bottlenecks and enable more rapid and direct transportation of materials to the centers caring for patients with Ebola.

This support from Mr. Allen is essential to Direct Relief’s collaborative efforts to meet the vastly expanded, urgent need for critical supplies necessary to contain, treat those sickened by the virus, and address the outbreak’s shattering ripple effects on the broader health system. – Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief.

To date, Direct Relief has sent 140 tons of medical materials valued at $6.98 million (wholesale) via airlifts and ocean freight containers.

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. 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)
  • A 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. (October 2014)
  • A 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. (October 2014)
  • 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. (October 2014)