Only 40% of Ebola Donations Have Reached the Affected Countries

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The latest study shows the gap between what the world pledged to give, and what the affected countries really got.

Of all the money pledged by well-intentioned individuals, organizations and nations, only 40% has actually reached the countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The new calculation comes from Karen Grepin, an assistant professor of global health policy at New York University, in areport published in the BMJ. Using data collected by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Grepin looked back and found that the World Health Organization’s requests for aid changed constantly since the Ministry of Health in Guinea first reported the 49 cases and 29 deaths that launched the current Ebola outbreak. From an early ask of $4.8 million in April, the agency, along with the governments of the three affected nations, revised that need to $71 million in August and to $600 million soon afterward to contain the epidemic. By the end of 2014, the UN was requesting $1.5 billion.

The global community responded, pledging nearly $2.9 billion by December. Only $1.09 billion of this support has actually been paid, however, and Ebola-stricken countries only began receiving some of this aid in October, a full seven months after the first cases were reported. The U.S. has been the largest donor, pledging more than $900 million, of which 95% has been funded, followed by the U.K., with $307 million, and the World Bank at $230 million. (Only half of the World Bank pledge has been funded.)

Source: TIME (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, philanthropy