Ebola Survivor treating patient

© UNICEF / Gary Hubbard

An Ebola survivor cares for a one week old baby in an isolation tent at an Ebola treatment center in Beni in December 2018.

Announcing the Winners of Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge


Announcing the Winners of Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge


Ebola Survivor treating patient

© UNICEF / Gary Hubbard

An Ebola survivor cares for a one week old baby in an isolation tent at an Ebola treatment center in Beni in December 2018.

Grantee projects focus on community engagement; Foundation total funding now at almost $4M for current Democratic Republic of Congo outbreak

SEATTLE, WA - On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced the winners of the Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge

The Accelerator Challenge is designed to provide rapid funding to accelerate the use of innovative approaches for overcoming the insecure conditions and community distrust that are undermining the ongoing response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC is facing the world’s second largest outbreak of Ebola, with over 1,400 cases in the eastern region of the country. 

“The Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge received dozens of innovative proposals, illustrating the urgent need for assistance to tackle this growing outbreak," said Jody Allen, Chair of Vulcan Inc. and Trustee of the Paul G. Allen Trust. “The communities and responders in the DRC deserve attention, assistance, and support from the global community. Governments and private funders must invest at this critical juncture; it’s up to all of us to stop Ebola.”

Grants funded through the Accelerator Challenge total approximately $2.4 million. When combined with earlier grants to stop this outbreak, these awards bring the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s commitment to almost $4 million, the largest private commitment to response efforts.

The following organizations will receive grants.

National Red Cross Society of the Democratic Republic of the Congo/International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Localizing Community Feedback Data Systems for Effective Decision-making

For the first time, quantitative and qualitative feedback from communities, including longer narratives, are being collected by more than 800 local Red Cross volunteers. By scaling up this system set-up by IFRC, authentic and actionable insights will allow responders to adapt their actions that will help build trust and acceptance of the response efforts.

World Health Organization, in partnership with the Université Catholique du Graben 
Accelerating Infection Prevention and Control in Priority Health Facilities in Butembo and Katwa

By training Congolese medical students and youth leaders, WHO will help ensure that best practices regarding Ebola infection, prevention, and control are reaching local communities and clinics.

Real-time Monitoring and Feedback Platform in North Kivu

By leveraging U-Report, a free, two-way SMS social monitoring tool and local radio, UNICEF will ensure that target populations are informed about the risks of Ebola and have the tools they need to protect themselves and their communities, while soliciting real-time community feedback that will make response efforts more targeted and effective.   

"Stopping Ebola takes a myriad of interventions, from the ones that grab headlines like new vaccines, to the ones that require literal boots on the ground like infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in health facilities and affected communities,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO's Health Emergencies Programme. "This grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will allow us to build on our current interventions with DRC's Ministry of Health by bringing on board medical students and training and equipping them to work in high transmission areas and health facilities. Once trained, they will in turn empower other health workers and community members to practice good IPC. This will contribute to ending the current outbreak, and will build capacity to prevent other infections. WHO is profoundly grateful for the Foundation’s contribution as we collectively work to end this outbreak.”

“In-depth community engagement is at the centre of our Ebola response with over 800 Red Cross volunteers -- all coming from Ebola-affected communities -- helping us to map the spread of Ebola-related rumours, which in turn allows us to adapt our community-messaging and tailor our response,” said Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, IFRC’s Under Secretary General for Partnerships. “With the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation’s support, Ebola responders can build trust with communities and, in doing so, make meaningful steps towards finally bringing this outbreak to an end.”

“UNICEF and partners have been working day in and day out to address the world’s second largest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In our work to control the spread of disease, support children and families, and provide safe water and sanitation, it’s clear that innovations are needed to best meet the needs of affected communities. Thanks to the generosity of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, UNICEF and partners will be able to mobilize effective community engagement through U-Report, a free SMS social messaging tool that allows community members to speak out and engage with critical emergency issues. Together, this impactful partnership will continue to save lives and support healthier futures in the DRC,” said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO, UNICEF USA.

The Ebola Response Accelerator Challenge is part of a larger effort from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to prevent outbreaks from becoming pandemics. In 2014, Paul Allen was the single largest private donor to the West Africa Ebola response, committing $100 million to contain the spread of Ebola and get to zero cases.



The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network, with 190 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and around 13.7 million volunteers. IFRC works to strengthen and accompany National Societies, so that they may better address current and future challenges. We support coordination of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network before, during and after disasters and crises. Together, we reach more than 160 million people with life-saving and life-changing support annually. For more information, visit


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF’s work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit


WHO is the UN's health agency. We work worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable. Our goal is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and well-being. For more information, visit


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