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USAID CIDI Encourages Effective Public Support of Ebola Response

September 2, 2014

Monetary Donations Are Best to Support Ebola Relief Efforts in West Africa

WASHINGTON, Sept. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As the humanitarian response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa continues, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Center for International Disaster Information (USAID CIDI) encourages Americans to support relief efforts appropriately and responsibly. Those who wish to help are encouraged to do so by giving monetary donations to trusted and experienced relief organizations, and to refrain from sending material donations such as bottled water, clothing and canned goods, unless they are specifically requested by a responding organization. Monetary donations to relief organizations working directly with disaster-affected people are the most effective way to help.

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The ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest and most-protracted ever recorded. Between August 4 and 15, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea declared the outbreak a disaster. Health actors, including U.N. and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials, continue to report an increasing EVD caseload in Liberia and Sierra Leone. The Government of Guinea has reported a sharp increase in EVD cases in Guinea in recent days, according to the CDC.

Since December 2013, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone have together reported over 2,200 suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola, and that number continues to rise. According to the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), what makes the current outbreak different is that capital cities, as well as rural areas, are affected, vastly increasing opportunities for the virus to spread. New cases continue to be recorded indicating that the outbreak has not been fully contained.

Non-governmental aid organizations (NGOs) are on the ground in West Africa, complementing and supporting response efforts from the United States and the international community. In addition to supporting medical personnel and equipment, NGOs use monetary donations to purchase and stockpile essential relief supplies in adequate quantities. There has not been a call from responding organizations for canned food, bottled water or used clothing at this time. If such items are needed, charitable organizations will issue appeals for specific supplies on their websites. USAID CIDI urges Americans to channel their desire to help into cash donations that relief organizations can use immediately to purchase essential supplies without slowing down responders, clogging supply chains, or taking up much-needed space.

“As the Ebola outbreak evolves in West Africa, relief organizations are meeting the challenges of this disease through the support of informed donors. Financial support is the best way to help these organizations respond quickly to developing needs in the countries affected by Ebola,” said Juanita Rilling, Director of USAID CIDI.

Lists of trusted and experienced organizations that are conducting relief operations in West Africa may and be found at USAID CIDI, Global Giving, InterAction and Relief Web.

About USAID CIDI
USAID CIDI is based in Washington, D.C. and was created in 1988 by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) to inform Americans about the best ways to help people affected by disasters overseas. USAID CIDI provides individuals, groups, embassies, businesses and corporations with information and guidance in support of maximally beneficial public support of international disaster relief efforts. The organization works with other donations management stakeholders, and promotes activities and donations to channel the public’s energy and generosity in ways most helpful to beneficiaries. For more information about USAID CIDI and helping international disaster survivors, please visit www.cidi.org.

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SOURCE USAID CIDI


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