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.