Humanitarian Crisis: In March 2014, the Government of Guinea formally recognized an Ebola outbreak. Before long, the outbreak spread to other countries in the region including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. As of September 20, 2014, over 5,335 confirmed or probable cases have been reported in the region, of which 2,622 resulted in death. These numbers are predicted to rise dramatically, with the situation worsening before it gets better. With 22 million people in need and 2.5 million children under the age of five living in Ebola-affected areas in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and many more living in neighboring countries at-risk, UNICEF is partnering with governments, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to respond to this unprecedented crisis. U.S. Fund for UNICEF is a Global Washington member.
A Race Against Time: We are in a race against time to contain and halt this outbreak. Due to UNICEF’s long- standing presence and partnership with the governments of affected countries, we have been able to work quickly on the ground to protect families and prevent further occurrences, assisting the hardest-to-reach, most vulnerable and marginalized populations. However, UNICEF cannot do this work alone. As the outbreak continues unabated, further support is urgently needed to strengthen and deepen the response against this life-threatening virus. We invite you to join UNICEF’s efforts across the region, which include:
- Controlling the outbreak: UNICEF is carrying out communication and social mobilization for community- based prevention, case detection, contact tracing care and referral activities. In Sierra Leone, UNICEF supported a ‘house-to-house talk’ initiative, facilitating over 28,500 trained social mobilizers, youths and volunteers going to door-to-door to reach 1.5 million households and provide them with information on ways families can protect themselves against the Ebola virus and prevent its spread.
- Delivering supplies: UNICEF is delivering medical and other essential supplies to treat and care for people suffering from Ebola. By the first week of October, UNICEF will have delivered 1,300 metric tons of supplies and mobilized 55 delivery flights. In Guinea, UNICEF and the World Bank partnered to procure 178 jeeps for use by the government to scale up response and ensure that monitoring teams can track contacts and transport potential patients and deceased persons to appropriate facilities.
- Providing essential social services: UNICEF is supporting the delivery of essential services including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), psychosocial support, health services and education to children and families affected by Ebola. With school suspended across affected countries, UNICEF is supporting alternative learning forums in Liberia and Sierra Leone through radio learning and other innovative initiatives.
- Preparing at-risk countries: UNICEF is also working with governments in at-risk neighboring countries to prepare for possible outbreak, positioning stockpiles of supplies, developing contingency plans, training community-based workers and implementing public awareness campaigns.
With a generous gift from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, we have an incredible opportunity to leverage your gift to fight this outbreak. The Foundation will offer a dollar-for-dollar match up to
$3.6 million USD to double the impact of your generous gift received before December 31, 2014. Your life- saving support will enable UNICEF to help families protect themselves and stop this deadly outbreak. On behalf of the many people affected by this crisis, we invite you to partner with us to share in our mission of saving lives.