In response to the devastating earthquakes that hit Nepal and northern India on April 25 and May 12 we partnered with Geneva Global to launch the Nepal Recovery Fund—a pooled philanthropic fund that offered individual donors and foundations a way to collaborate to quickly get resources to where they are most needed. Geneva Global—which has local staff on the ground in Kathmandu—has a long and deep history of working with community-based organizations in Nepal to address the needs of the most vulnerable communities—those living in poverty, and those in danger of exploitation and trafficking.
Through these partnerships, we received real-time information about what is most urgently needed, and what could be done to support those impacted by this disaster. These local organizations know their communities, were able to quickly recognize and respond to the immediate needs of their communities, and have existing relationships that allowed them to work effectively with each other and their local governments.
The 2014 Ebola virus outbreak was the largest in history, primarily affecting Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in West Africa. Ebola typically originates in rural communities, however the 2014 outbreak spread to major cities and transportation hubs. The virus can be transmitted from wild animals to humans, and spread through contact with infected bodily fluids.
It is severe and often a fatal illness with a death rate of around 50% in the recent outbreak. Ebola-stricken communities had many needs, beyond the initial call for treatment centers, medical supplies and doctors. Due to the damaging effects of Ebola, communities have faced ongoing economic struggles, food shortages and psychosocial challenges related to more than a year of severe disruption. In addition, survivors – including thousands of orphaned children – have faced isolation, homelessness, and poverty as a result of social stigma.
In August 2014, Geneva Global and anchor donor Legatum Foundation, launched the Ebola Crisis Fund which raised almost $1 million and disbursed funds to 34 organizations in the three affected countries. The Fund enabled these organizations to impact the lives of 5,721,963 unique beneficiaries.
In just four months of operation, the Ebola Crisis Fund identified over 300 community-based organizations in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, vetted over 70 organizations, and provided or approved grants to 34 groups. Additionally, the Fund supported the productions of a children's book on Ebola, accompanied by a counselling workbook, to be distributed to all grantees in Liberia at a one-day training course for psychology social care.
The Ebola Crisis Fund would like to thank the donors who contributed towards positively impacting the lives of over 5.7 million people affected by the Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Our final report outlines the Fund’s unique approach, the organizations and projects that were funded, and the impact of the Fund.