Read more about how funds were spent and how the response to this crisis was evaluated
raised, including £5 million matched by the UK Government
people were reached with health information to help prevent the spread of the virus
people were trained to pass on health messages
people were given cash grants to restore their livelihoods
When the DEC launched our appeal on 29 October 2014, 13,000 cases were confirmed or suspected and almost 5,000 people had died. The WHO said that this outbreak was unprecedented in terms of its scale, severity and complexity. There were more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined.
The most urgent need was to help prevent the spread of ebola through a mass community effort to prevent misinformation and educate people about the virus. 1.85 million were reached with health information, and 440,000 people were trained to pass on health messages.
With markets closed to help prevent the spread of the virus, many lost their livelihoods. More than 47,000 people received cash grants to buy seeds to plant or goods to sell in reopened markets, and in Liberia 17,000 women were trained in running small businesses.
Twenty-two-year-old Kadiatu Conteh was just one of the women who received help to start her life again after the devastation of the ebola outbreak. Kadiatu, who lives in Sierra Leone, one of the worst hit countries, was the only member of her family to survive after they all contracted the virus. Tragically, Kadiatu lost her mother, father, sister, brother and newborn baby daughter. She enrolled in a training scheme and began studying for a certificate in electrical installation, the only woman in her class. She also received a monthly stipend of Le 100,000. Kadiatu said: “The course was tough at the initial stage but now I am comfortable with it. I thought all was lost for me, but with this skills training I am sure, upon completing my course, I will use this knowledge to do something beneficial for myself.”
Protective equipment including gloves stored in a warehouse for use by front line workers
The decision to launch our first appeal in response to a disease outbreak reflected the severity of the ebola crisis in Western Africa.
DEC CEO Saleh Saeed said: “While many chronic diseases cause untold suffering in poorer countries, the worst acute outbreaks of deadly diseases such as measles or cholera have usually occurred in the wake of another type of disaster. In West Africa today we are seeing a disease create not just a medical crisis but a humanitarian emergency. Without urgent action to stop the spread of Ebola and to help those affected by the crisis, parts of West Africa face catastrophe within 60 days.”
Thanks to the generosity of the public, our appeal was a huge success and every donation contributed to saving lives.