The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has become one of the largest global public health crises in recent history, with over 27,000 cases and 11,000 lives lost in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. 

The World Food Programme (WFP) has been working on the frontline since the beginning of the outbreak, providing food to patients and survivors and, vital logistics support to the humanitarian community.

Although this unprecedented epidemic has slowed down, it is not over, and its effect continues to be felt not only within public health but also as a major social and economic crisis.

Working towards recovery and beyond

Under government leadership, WFP’s investments are in human development, livelihoods and preparedness. This includes investing in education and nutrition; supporting recovery of local economies; and building governments and partners’ capacity in emergency preparedness and response.

WFP had been supporting vulnerable communities in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia before the crisis, and it is now gradually redesigning its programmes to support the increased requirements by:

  • expanding the school meals programmes to reach all children in need and partnering with farmers to procure locally produced food; 
  • resuming treatment of children suffering from malnutrition in health centres;
  • providing food to people living in former Ebola hotspots;
  • supporting local community development through food for asset initiatives;
  • supporting local economies by partnering with financial institutions to scale up cash and voucher-based transfers and enhancing our food assistance programme;
  • investing in future emergency preparedness and response by building governments’ technical capacities, and partnering with the private sector and other UN agencies to develop a virtual supply chain for pandemics.

WFP’s response in numbers (as of July 2015)

  • Since April 2014, WFP has distributed food to over three million people affected by Ebola;
  • WFP has helped over 22,000 survivors and their families to get back on their feet;
  • WFP has reached more than 15,000 orphans and their foster families;
  • Since September 2014, WFP has distributed food worth US$37 million, including food produced in the three Ebola-affected countries worth US$2 million;
  • WFP has been providing internet and radio connectivity in 115 locations across the three countries, ensuring reliable internet access for over 2,100 humanitarian staff to date;
  • Deployed 1,000 staff (800 local and 240 international);
  • Built over 30,000 square metres of facilities to house critical medical supplies and protection gear.

Our donors and funding requirements

WFP’s Ebola response would not be possible without the immense support of its donors. These donors include USA, Germany, Canada, Japan, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, the European Commission, China, private donors and others.

To continue providing food and logistical services to the wider humanitarian community to reach zero Ebola cases, WFP requires US$56 million by the end of 2015. As of July 2015, WFP has received US$329 million for its Ebola response.