This online event brought together a panel of speakers from major businesses and organizations active in the Ebola response in West Africa. The event provided first-hand accounts of how the private sector contributed to the Ebola response and was an opportunity to discuss how to improve coordination and further leverage the inputs of the private sector.

Event description

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa evolved into a complex emergency with significant political, social humanitarian and security dimensions in 2014. It is estimated by the United Nations that US$987.8 million are required to implement the Ebola response strategy. Health agencies such as the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders have warned of inadequate resources to contain the epidemic and treat affected people. As the international community scales up its efforts, the private sector is being called upon to expand its engagement to provide resources with the objective to eradicate the Ebola threat and mitigate its impact.

The online event on the “Power of business in the Ebola response” rovided information on the Ebola crisis, specific ways in which the private sector could contribute to the crisis and best case examples of private sector engagement in the response. We heard first-hand accounts of the crisis on the ground from workers in affected countries and from private sector companies that had been offering support to the response.

Our panel of speakers included Joe Ruiz, Corporate Grants Manager at UPS Foundation; Karen Smith, Private Sector Strategic Partnerships Advisor at United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER); Jon Pender, Vice President at Global Health in GSK's Government Affairs Department; Dr Craig Friderichs, Director of Health at GSMA; Alan Knight, General Manager for Corporate Responsibility at ArcelorMittal; and Sue Adkins, International Director at Business in the Community.


Joe Ruiz Joe Ruiz is Corporate Grants Manager with the UPS Foundation and Director of the UPS Humanitarian Relief Program. He is responsible for efforts to enhance the disaster preparedness and response capabilities of the humanitarian community through key partnerships in the public and private sector that can benefit from UPS’s logistical expertise and financial resources.
Jon Pender Jon Pender is Vice President, Global Health in GSK’s Government Affairs Department. As such, he is responsible for ensuring that GSK’s approach to sustainably improving access to medicines in the developing world reaches as many people in need as possible, whilst ensuring that incentives for investment in innovation are retained. Jon works with a wide-range of stakeholders including governments, NGOs, multilateral agencies, investors and the media, and represents GSK at a number of international organisations such as the WHO and WTO.
Karen Smith Karen Smith is a Private Sector Strategic Partnerships Advisor at United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). Prior to this, she was working in the Private Sector Section, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch of UN-OCHA. Karen has experience from having working with the UN around the world, including in the UN missions in Sudan (UNMIS) and in Kosovo (UNMIK), as well as from international NGOs such as Children's Aid Direct and CoDevelopment Canada.
Dr Craig Friderichs Dr Craig Friderichs is Director of Health at GSMA. A former trauma physician and biotech analyst, Craig now heads up a global team that brings together the mobile industry and health stakeholders to improve health outcomes in emerging markets. Craig represents private sector on the board of the WHO Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and is a regular speaker at international events.
Alan Knight Alan Knight has over 25 years’ experience of working with global and national companies and governments on sustainability. He joined the world’s largest Steel company ArcelorMittal in April 2014 as their General Manager for Corporate Responsibility. Previous to that he was Sustainability Director for Business and the Community (BITC) where he oversaw all their Corporate Sustainability Programmes. He was also chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Nature Partnership on which he remains a board member. Previously he has worked with companies as diverse as B&Q, Kingfisher and SABMiller.
Sue Adkins Sue Adkins is the International Director at Business in the Community. With a background in business, she is responsible for BITC’s international strategy mobilising business action on the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, supported by an International Leadership Team of senior global business leaders. Sue has worked with blue chip companies and NGOs throughout Europe, North and South America, Africa and Australasia to help them develop their corporate social responsibility and sustainability strategies and their partnerships.


Recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Event recording (downloadable audio podcast)

Event report

Download event report