Ebola Outbreak: Helping the Affected and Protecting the Vulnerable

In recent weeks, USAID has responded to the Ebola virus outbreak that continues to spread through Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. As news about the outbreak and of heroic interventions by relief organizations continues to attract world attention, two questions rise to the top: how is the global community slowing the epidemic’s growth, and what are the best ways to help people who are impacted?

As the World Health Organization declared the outbreak an international public health emergency, partnerships around the world have mobilized education campaigns and relief efforts. USAID is providing resources for communities while supporting local efforts to address this type of threat. As a leading resource for information on international disasters, USAID CIDI is arming prospective donors with what they need to know to support the response, the survivors and communities affected by the Ebola virus in the speediest and most effective way possible.

While a first reaction may be to send medicine and other supplies to West Africa, the best way for thoughtful donors to express their compassion is by sending monetary donations to reputable organizations working on the ground in West Africa. Why cash? Cash donations can be used immediately to purchase supplies that are urgently needed and culturally appropriate, while supporting the local economy. We call this Smart Compassion, but you could also call it doing good for the greater good – and that’s pretty great!

For a list of trusted and experienced relief organizations helping in West Africa, visit: InterAction, Global Giving, or Relief Web. For all your disaster donations needs in one place, download the Smart Compassion Toolkit.