In response to the growing Ebola crisis in West Africa, Dubai-based Legatum Foundation and international philanthropic consulting firm Geneva Global have partnered with US-based non-profit Capital for Good to establish the Ebola Crisis Fund. According to its website, “The Ebola Crisis Fund is a pooled philanthropic fund that seeks to raise a minimum of US $1,000,000 over the next three months as an immediate response to stopping the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.” The fund will support organizations in the affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.
The fund has a three-phase strategy to combat the epidemic, with roughly 50 percent of funds raised allocated to immediate relief and prevention efforts. The fund will also focus on a rehabilitation phase that includes restoring public health infrastructure, and a final phase dedicated to addressing “often neglected and underfunded socio-economic issues, such as orphan care, disaster mitigation and preparedness, and the rebuilding of public trust and peace.” By donating directly to local community-based organizations, the Ebola Crisis Fund hopes to both alleviate the lack of healthcare infrastructure and overcome distrust of large aid groups and their association with corrupt governments.
Legatum has already donated US$150,000 to the fund. The New Field Foundation, an organization that partners with rural women’s community organizations in Africa, has also given US$19,000. According to New Field Foundation’s Executive Director Sarah Hobson, “grass-roots organizations have the ability to reach tens of thousands of people by radio using familiar and culturally sensitive language.” Hobson and Alan McCormick, Managing Director of Legatum, have both described the Ebola Crisis Fund as an important step in helping reach the nearly US$1.1 billion called for by the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight the spread of the virus.