The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a $50-million contribution Wednesday to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa and speed development of diagnostic tools and treatments, reports The Seattle Times. Much of the money will go immediately to the World Health Organization and other groups to expand emergency operations on the front lines of the outbreak, which has claimed at least 2,300 lives.
The commitment includes $10-million Gates has already provided for Ebola-fighting supplies and treatment centers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will get about $2-million, in part to fortify stretched health-care systems in hard-hit countries like Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. An as-yet-undetermined amount will fund research on drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics in hopes that some will come in time to stem this outbreak, said Chris Elias, the foundation's president for global development programs.