Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he will pledge at least $100 million to help fight the spread of Ebola.
In a statement released through his personal websiteon Thursday, Allen says the funding will go to the State Department to develop medevac containment units to evacuate health professionals from West Africa.
Allen is also working with the University of Massachusetts Medical School to donate funds to offer training, medical workers and equipment in Liberia, one of the nations hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic.
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Allen said in a statement. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem.”
Allen’s $100 million pledge is one of several donations the billionaire — who also owns the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks and NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers — has made toward fighting Ebola. Among his contributions: an August donation to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia; a partnership with UNICEF to airlift protection kits in Liberia; and a grant to the CDC Foundation to help establish emergency operations centers in Africa.
Allen is not the first prominent tech name to lend their fortunes toward the Ebola crisis. Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, gave $25 million to the CDC Foundation.
“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” wrote Zuckerberg is a post published to Facebook.
Last month, fellow Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates donated $50 million through his foundation to battle Ebola.