We are reminded daily via the news media of the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak and its devastating effects in West Africa, particularly in Liberia – the site of the Zonta-supported Liberia Fistula Project. Like you, I am concerned about the fistula survivors we are committed to helping, the medical staff caring for them, and all Liberians who are threatened by this deadly disease.
In situations like this one, our first instinct is to ask how we can help; however, we need to be mindful of our mission and limitations. Zonta International is not a relief agency. As an organization, we do not have the human or financial resources to take action when humanitarian or natural disasters occur. For that purpose, we do have an Emergency and Disaster Funds Policy, which is available for you on the Zonta International website.
We remain committed to sharing any updates on the project in Liberia as we receive them. UNFPA, our partner in Liberia shared the report – “Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak: Overview of needs and requirements”. On pages 24 and 25, you will find information specifically on Liberia. I am scheduled to speak to our contacts at UNFPA this Friday, 26th of September, and will share any additional information I receive after that call.
Maria Jose Landeira Oestergaard
Zonta International Foundation