Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen announced Thursday that he would be donating at least $US100 million to fighting Ebola, The New York Times reported.
“Everybody feels called sometimes to really pursue a certain thing that resonates with them, and this has resonated with me,” Allen told the Times. “We’re up against an extremely tough opponent here. The exponential nature of the growth of this disease is really a challenge — we’ve already seen in the U.S. where one case quickly became two.”
The gift makes him one of the largest individual donors to contribute to the cause. He had previously pledged $US26 million to nonprofits and government agencies fighting the disease, including the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
The $US100-million pledge also doubles his Microsoft cofounder’s gift — the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced in September that it would donate $US50 million toward fighting the Ebola outbreak.
Allen’s donation will go to several different organisations, including the World Health Organisation, the United States State Department, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which funds lab equipment in Liberia. Allen has also created a website, www.TackleEbola.com, to direct smaller donors towards projects they can help fund.
“I got a taste when I was in Kenya a while ago of what medical care was in rural Africa,” Allen said. “I was in a town of about 10,000 people, and a shipping container with a rusty microscope was their medical clinic.”
Allen confirmed the news of his donation via Twitter.