Lilly and Partners Aid the People of West Africa

Today’s guest blog is from Courtney Roberts. Courtney, Consultant in Corporate Responsibility, is responsible for Lilly’s global product donations, including disaster relief and humanitarian aid.

Over the last few months, we have all been closely monitoring the Ebola crisis in Western Africa – and no doubt our vigilance has been even more heightened as we see these countries struggle to treat patients and contain the broader spread of the virus.

According to a WHO situation report released on October 17, more than 9,000 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola have been reported in seven affected countries. There have been more than 4,500 deaths. The situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is rapidly deteriorating, and the upward epidemic trend continues.

Lilly employees, along with a Lilly match through Global Giving, have generously donated to date more than $30,000 to Ebola relief efforts. Lilly has now made an even greater commitment to aid in this crisis. Last week the Lilly Foundation granted $100,000 to two trusted organizations working on Ebola relief ($50,000 to Direct Relief International and $50,000 to Project HOPE). Both organizations are working to deliver the necessary supplies to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.


Direct Relief’s ongoing response to the Ebola crisis has consisted of a series of emergency airlifts of medical resources and supplies to affected countries. To date, twelve emergency shipments have been sent to seven partners in Liberia and three partners in Sierra Leone, supporting more than 100 facilities. On September 20, Direct Relief sent 100 tons of emergency medical assistance to Sierra Leone and Liberia — the largest to depart the U.S. since the outbreak began. In total thus far, Direct Relief has delivered:

  • 4.2M surgical and exam gloves
  • 170,000 gowns and coveralls
  • 120,000 masks
  • As well as other needed medical and protective supplies, equipment, and pharmaceutical products


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Project HOPE’s work in Western Africa is extensive, as well.  Along with shipping personal protective equipment, medicines and medical supplies, they have deployed a six-member assessment team to Freetown, Sierra Leone to identify key gaps in the country’s ability to combat Ebola. While Project HOPE’s initial work is in Sierra Leone, they also plan to support partners in the Mano River Union - which not only includes Sierra Leone, but also Liberia and Guinea.  In cooperation with partners in the Mano River Union, they will provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance, healthcare supplies and equipment, and logistical support.

Partnering with trusted organizations in these efforts is critical to the transport, delivery and distribution of supplies to those people most in need.  This coordination is crucial to responding effectively to a country’s needs following a natural disaster or medical emergency. Lilly is proud to work with both Direct Relief and Project HOPE. 

You may donate to Ebola relief efforts through Lilly Global Giving