Elsewhere online
October 16, 2014

Aid Groups Say Public Slow to Open Wallets for Ebola Fight

Giving to tackle the Ebola epidemic is running well short of that for other major disasters, with philanthropic and governmental organizations pinning the lag on public fear and confusion over the disease and a lack of visceral media images of suffering, writes The Washington Post. Virtually all of the $2.9-million the American Red Cross has received to fight Ebola has come from one donor, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies says it has raised 24 percent of its Ebola appeal target.

"The kind of disasters that garner a lot of public support are the ones that are fast-moving and tend to look visually spectacular," said Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development's office for foreign disaster aid. "The ironic thing about this is that, in those instances, all the damage has been done by the time the news is running. ... Whereas with this sort of response, there’s actually a lot more to be done that can save people’s lives," he said.

See a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on a pledge of $25-million from Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation to fight Ebola.