Ebola Outbreak: How Can I Help?

For our latest guidance, see Ebola Outbreak: How Can I Help? An Update & Focus on Liberia.

The Ebola outbreak continues to spread in West Africa – deaths from the virus are growing, while the governments in the region are increasingly unable to deal with the fall-out from the disease. Helping citizens understand the situation is central to ensuring that Ebola does not spread any further.

Blair Glencorse, one of our social impact fellows here at the Center, also serves as the executive director of the Accountability Lab, an ngo working on the ground in Liberia to make Liberians more aware of their rights and responsibilities during the crisis. He recently wrote in Foreign Policy about the larger problems with the response to Ebola. His article focuses on the need to build trust between citizens and governments in the region, noting that the crisis “is quickly exposing how rapidly progress can be undermined. . .when it is not grounded in a fair, inclusive social compact between governments and their citizens.”


For those readers hoping to support the response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, Blair suggests ways donors might help:

Support efforts to raise awareness of the crisis within the country, disseminate information, and distribute necessary safety and sanitation equipment. Kriterion Monrovia is an in-country nonprofit student group that is doing just that.

Help ensure the necessary equipment and skills are available to health centers. Doctors Without Borders is an ngo with specialized capacity to address major global public health disasters such as the current Ebola crisis. In fact, our center has profiled the organization several times in our coverage of effective disaster relief (How Can I Help?). The campaign for West Africa is fully funded, but you can donate to Doctors Without Borders to support their larger efforts to bring necessary medical care to some of the most hard-to-operate regions of the world.

Fund community-based approaches to healthcare, such as those profiled in several of our guides (Child Survival; Haiti: How Can I Help?). Such approaches offer a more long-term, sustainable way to address and prevent such crises.  Organizations like Last Mile Health in Liberia, is one example of an ngo that has adopted such an approach.