WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials announced this week more than $12 million in additional funding to help curb the West African Ebola outbreak. Since the outbreak was first reported in March 2014, USAID has committed a total of $14.55 million to support the response. Earlier in the week, USAID also announced the deployment of a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to oversee critical areas of the U.S. government’s efforts.
The total funding announced this week will go to support the following:
$7.45 million: USAID’s Global Health Bureau, through the World Health Organization (WHO), is providing operational and personnel support, including 105,000 sets of personal protective equipment for healthcare staff and outbreak investigators in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. This equipment provides critical protection for those working on the frontlines of pandemic outbreaks—preventing human exposure to highly pathogenic viruses and other emerging infectious diseases by limiting the risk of infections.
$5 million: USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is ramping up its support for the international community’s Ebola response efforts. OFDA funding will go to support U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) disease-control experts working in affected countries to provide technical assistance for surveillance activities, help track and test for Ebola cases, and train government health ministry staff. OFDA is also providing funding to support the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to raise public awareness of Ebola’s mode of transmission, teach disease prevention practices to communities, and train volunteers to detect Ebola symptoms and identify contacts of confirmed or suspected cases for further monitoring.
USAID is working in coordination with other federal agencies to respond to the Ebola outbreak, including the CDC, the U.S. Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and State. Previously, USAID funding dedicated to the West African Ebola outbreak has supported the deployment of more than 30 technical experts from the WHO as well as resources to support health clinics and supply households with hygiene kits, soap, bleach, gloves, and masks to help prevent the spread of disease.