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Ebola donations pale in comparison to past global crises

Posted October 20, 2014

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— When family members in Liberia told Addonise Paye that he could help address Ebola in the African country, he didn’t hesitate to take action.

“Almost every day, you see dead bodies falling on the streets,” he said. “When I talk to them, they usually tell me what they really need, number one is bleach.”

Paye has partnered with Raleigh's Helping Hands Mission to collect bleach, face masks and other items, which will be shipped to Liberia next week.

But some say donations for Ebola pales in comparison to the billions of dollars in money and supplies sent to Haiti and Japan in response to an earthquake in 2010 and a tsunami in 2011, respectively.

The problem is that Ebola lacks visual allure, said Barry Porter, regional chief executive officer of the Triangle chapter of the American Red Cross.

“It’s a virus. It’s not that visual loss of the home, perhaps that number of families displaced or shelters being opened,” he said.

Many are hesitant to send money because they’re not sure how it will help, Porter said.

Responding to an international medical crisis is much different than a natural disaster, said Porter, who added that officials are currently figuring out how to do so.

“The American people respond to crisis, and they've shown that time and time again,” he said. “And if they sensed that this was truly a crisis where they could make a difference, and they feel like their funds are making an impact, those donations would come.”

Those wanting to donate can do so through the American Red Cross or Fighting Ebola.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • raphael27520 Oct 21, 2014

    Ebola has been diagnosed since 1976 in Africa, but has never been a priority in finding a vaccine.
    Even Polio, which the Salk vaccine which has eliminated it in the developed world, runs rampant in India and the Third World due to lack of vaccinations.

    So even if an Ebola Vaccine was available , the most likely suffers in Africa will not get vaccinated.

  • PowderedToastMan Oct 21, 2014

    Why is it American's responsibility to donate for every natural disaster?

  • Betty Lanier Oct 21, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    wow.. i have no words for you. Thankfully not everyone feels the way you do.

  • A cold, hard dose of Hans Oct 21, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Why, indeed.

  • Itsmyopinion67 Oct 21, 2014

    Why would I give money to this? I will take care of my family...the rest can fend for themselves. West Africa is not my problem.

  • Danny22 Oct 21, 2014

    People don't trust that the money will be used properly.

  • 50s Child Oct 21, 2014

    Maybe people aren't throwing money at the problem because they see that a culture that refuses to move into the 19th century cannot be helped.

  • theliberadicator Oct 21, 2014

    How greedy of Americans. Fuel prices are the lowest they've been in years and you greedy souls can't help those in need? If you don't start doing so soon those Dems you are about to re-elect, to retain the Senate majority, will take it from you to donate on your behalf.

    Right after they take more from you to cover the minimum wage doubling they are going to pass as soon as the election is over.

  • affirmativediversity Oct 21, 2014

    Maybe the guy giving away hundreds of millions to Democratic politicians who support "Global Warming" should reroute some of those funds to this?
    Or how about the billions this country spends relocating and providing services to anyone and everyone from Central America who decides to mosey across our border...close the border, send them home and then reallocate some of those funds to West Africa.

  • Ronald Nunn Oct 21, 2014
    user avatar

    Comparing ebola to the Haiti and Japan earthquake and tsunami is like comparing apples and oranges. Earthquakes and tsunami's are unpredictable and cannot be stopped from happening. Ebola is a virus that was not contained due to negligence and ignorance. People don't feel they should need to donate to such a cause.