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Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan today made a grant of $25 million from their donor-advised fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation to the CDC Foundation. This grant will be used for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Ebola response effort in the most severely affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and to support CDC's work anywhere in the world where Ebola poses a threat to health.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is the deadliest in history, taking the lives of more than 4,000 people to date and infecting more than 8,400 individuals in the region. To provide flexible funding to help meet the most urgent on the ground needs,
"The most important step we can take is to stop Ebola at its source. The sooner the world comes together to help West Africa, the safer we all will be," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "This significant contribution from Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan will help us rapidly advance the fight against Ebola."
"It's important to note that the gift by Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan will provide flexible funding allowing CDC to address the most pressing needs as the epidemic shifts and evolves," said Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. "We are extremely grateful for this magnificent donation, and we thank them for their compassionate support that will save so many lives."
The donation from Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan was made to the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund, which is providing essential materials and assistance to advance CDC's response to the Ebola epidemic. This donation will be used by the CDC Foundation to help expeditiously address needs that are identified by CDC experts on the ground, and that could otherwise go unmet. These needs may include the equipping of community care centers, employment and training of local staff, generators, vehicles to be used for specimen transport, Ebola case identification and contact tracing, burial support, and translation services and communications, all vital to health care system strengthening. This grant will also fund other needs that arise going forward.
In response to the Ebola epidemic, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta and will soon have 150 public health experts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. All told, more than 1,000 CDC staff have been involved in response to the Ebola outbreak since July.
The CDC Foundation's board of directors acknowledged the tremendous needs presented by the Ebola epidemic and committed to absorbing 100 percent of the Foundation's administrative costs associated with the Global Disaster Response Fund so that every penny donated by others is used to support CDC's emergency mandate.
Individual or corporate contributions to the CDC Foundation's Global Disaster Response Fund can be made on the CDC Foundation's website (www.cdcfoundation.org/ebola-outbreak) or by phone, fax or mail. To discuss giving opportunities or an in-kind donation, contact the CDC Foundation at 1-888-880-4CDC.