Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is taking up the cause of fighting Ebola, and has added a new donation button that will enable users to donate to charities for battling the disease. The social networking site along with the non-profit NetHope is donating and arranging 100 satellite communication terminals to enhance internet and phone services to the areas in West Africa which are already suffering from Ebola.
According to the social networker, the terminals will also offer Internet and Voice calling to the farthest areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leona, which will assist the medical aid workers with voice and data service. Moreover, health workers who have gone to Africa to offer their services can connect with their friends and family back home, said Chris Weasler, Facebook’s head of spectrum policy and connectivity planning.
Facebook teams with non-profits
The deadly virus has taken around 5,000 lives in West Africa. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have donated $25 million to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention toward the Ebola response efforts.
According to the company, in the weeks ahead, users will get an option on their Facebook page to donate to three non-profits combating Ebola. The tree groups are International Medical Corps, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies and Save the Children. According to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), these charity groups work directly in the field, and are able to accept donations globally.
Ebola donations lagging behind
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is hoping that the new donation button will allow the flow of more funds towards the cause. To date, donations for Ebola are less than the amounts received for natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines last year or the earthquake in Haiti four years ago. As of now, American Red Cross has collected approximately $3.7 million for Ebola relief, compared to $486 million after the Haiti earthquake, and more than $88 million for Typhoon Haiyan.
Last month, Zuckerberg noted on his Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) page that Ebola should be contained as early as possible so that the virus does not become a global health crisis that the world has to fight for decades at large scale such as HIV or polio.