The deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus in recorded history has infected more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 4,000 in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Some estimates suggest that without rapid action in the next 90 days, 1.4 million people could be infected by Christmas.
Our Church partners are urgently scaling up their response to the crisis, and aim to reach two million people over the coming weeks. We are hoping to meet their need for £1.3m to do this. Their work includes:
Raising awareness: Many communities do not have access to accurate information on Ebola, or hygiene facilities to protect themselves. Our partners are working with priests and imams to spread the word about hand-washing and safe sanitation, and to distribute hygiene kits. Religious leaders are in a unique position to dispel myths and ensure that communities take the right action to prevent the spread of the disease.
Providing safe burials: Ebola can spread through contact with the bodies of people who have died from the disease, so our partners are training priests and communities to carry out safe burials. They are also providing care and emotional support to families who have lost loved ones.
Supplying food: As the spread of Ebola widens, the day to day task of buying or stocking food is becoming more challenging. Farmers have been unable to work together to harvest their crops, prices have risen, and food is becoming scarce in districts that have been quarantined. We plan to work in Sierra Leone and Liberia to make sure vulnerable families have enough food.
Please pray for our partners and all the many communities so seriously affected by this situation.
If you would like to find out more about the work of our partners and how to support it, please visit cafod.org.uk/ebola.
Thank you for your support and prayers.