Microsoft founder Bill Gates donates £31m to West Africa Ebola battle
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has donated £31m of his considerable fortune to combating the spread of Ebola in West Africa - a disease which has claimed over 2,300 lives in the region.
The philanthropist on Thursday made the donation through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the United Nations agencies and other international organisations involved in the emergency efforts to cease the transmission of the virus.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was founded in 2000
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) R&D department and the US Fund for Unicef each received over £3m to contain the threat and treat survivors.
Unicef will use the donation to help Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea purchase essential medical supplies, coordinate response activities, and provide at-risk communities with life-saving health information.
Furthermore, the foundation said it will work with public and private sector partners to hasten the development of an Ebola cure.
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Gates Foundation, said: “We are working urgently with our partners to identify the most effective ways to help them save lives now and stop transmission of this deadly disease.
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“We also want to accelerate the development of treatments, vaccines and diagnostics that can help end this epidemic and prevent future outbreaks.”
Gates on Wednesday tweeted that Hellman was to hold a pledge-driving q&a session to further raise awareness of the disease among viewers. It was here that the foundation first announced the donation.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) September 10, 2014
Last month the philanthropist took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge using a unique pulley machine, he designed, to soak himself in style.