In response to the ravaging Ebola disease in four West African countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Wednesday announced that it will commit $50 million to support the scale up of emergency efforts to contain it’s spread.
Over 2,000 people have died in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, where the outbreak has been a major hit, with 7 cases also reported in Nigeria.
The Seattle-based foundation said the money will go to the United Nations, the World Health Organization, WHO, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and international organizations involved in fighting the spread of the virus.
The Foundation’s chief executive officer, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, said in a statement that the it will work with public and private sector partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives and stop the spread of the deadly disease, with the development of therapies, vaccines, and diagnostics that could help in the fight against the virus and also to prevent future outbreak.
The foundation was particularly influenced by the request on Friday by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for $600 million to fight the Ebola outbreak.
Global health and development dominate the work of the foundation, which has given away $30 billion since 1997. The foundation formed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife reported an endowment worth $40 billion as of March 2014.