The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation today announced it has committed $5 million in grant funding to help contain the West African outbreak of the Ebola virus.
The Hewlett Foundation has for years funded efforts to help improve reproductive health and the quality of education in West Africa, but it has not historically provided humanitarian aid. Yet the scale of the Ebola outbreak, combined with its potential to disrupt—if not wholly undermine—the improvements in living conditions its grantmaking is intended to support, persuaded the Foundation’s Board of Directors to act.
“The way this outbreak is spreading is unprecedented,” said Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, “How quickly it can be contained is likely to affect all social and economic development in the region for years to come.”
Recent days have seen several large-scale commitments of funding to halt the spread of the virus, and Hewlett Foundation staff consulted with experts in government, international development agencies, and nonprofit organizations working in the region to decide where the Foundation’s funds could do the most good.
“As in all humanitarian relief efforts,” said Kramer, “fast and flexible philanthropic dollars can help meet urgent needs, and help pave the way so that the larger resources made available by governments can have greater impact.”
The Hewlett Foundation’s grants will support organizations working on high-priority public health measures, including the use of mass media for prevention messages; operation of Ebola treatment centers; and community-based outreach. Organizations that will receive grants as part of the Ebola response fund include the CDC Foundation, the UN Foundation, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), International Medical Corps, Population Services International, the GlobalGiving Foundation, and Capital for Good.
About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of the Hewlett Foundation's grants can be found in its online grants database.