Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Ebola Crisis in West Africa

As the Ebola crisis continues to escalate, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) programs are working with its partners, the West Africa Initiative (WAI) and Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance, on the immediate medical crisis as well as the secondary impacts on communities in the region. The response has focused on:

  • Supplying essential protective gear and supplies to protect medical workers
  • Raising awareness on the symptoms of Ebola and preventive methods
  • Improving food security and incomes of families by maintaining agricultural production at the community level

 “This is not just a public health crisis,” said Dr. Margaret Chat, World Health Organization director-general. “This is a social, humanitarian and economic crisis as well as a threat to national security beyond the outbreak zones.”

Sento Conteh, a WAI facilitator in the Kenema District of Sierra Leone says, “Ebola is worse than the civil war. In the war you could see and hear the danger, this Ebola is a silent and invisible killer.”

In addition to health care, one of the most urgent needs is food security. Many communities are being quarantined, and reports of food shortages abound.

“It is very difficult for the groups to take their produce to the markets in Monrovia. Village markets are closed, and group members have no income coming in,” says Thomas Hackor, WAI Country Coordinator in Liberia.

The WAI program has on-the-ground presence, credibility and organizational structure to reach rural communities with necessary information and assistance. Despite travel restrictions, WAI facilitators have been able to get permission to travel to the villages in need of help.

In the United States, a PC(USA) committee is monitoring the Ebola situation and is prepared to provide guidance to congregations should the situation reach a level that requires a substantial response.

As the crisis continues, our partners and the people they serve will need our ongoing prayers and support.  

Please stand in the GAP for families impacted by Ebola.
Your financial gifts will provide prevention education, medical supplies, sanitation kits and implements for food security to the people directly and indirectly affected by the outbreak.

Designate gifts to DR000190-Ebola response. Individuals can give through their local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700                       
Pittsburg, PA 15264-3700

Follow the PC (U.S.A.) response on Twitter and Facebook and share updates with your congregation and others.

Share the downloadable bulletin insert wth your congregation.

Learn more on an upcoming November 3, 2014 webinar. Check Facebook or the website for more information.

Remember those affected or threatened by the virus throughout the world as well as the safety of healthcare workers, families and neighbors caring for those affected. Remember the families who have lost loved ones as well as the quarantine communities. Pray for containment and an end to the spread of the Ebola virus.