Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ebola Outbreak Update

     The situation in Guinea continues to be relatively stable, according to the World Health Organization's most recent assessment, released on November 12. Transmission of the Ebola virus is steady, with Conakry and parts of the Forest region continuing to be the most severely hit areas. Siguiri has also emerged as a pivotal prefecture in the regional fight against Ebola, in light of the news that the virus has spread once again to Mali, including its capital city, Bamako.

     The official numbers as of November 12 were as follows: 1,878 cases with 1,142 deaths in Guinea alone. Of the 34 total prefectures in Guinea, only 10 remain completely unscathed, mostly clustered in the northern Fouta Djallon.

     With respect to Peace Corps' presence in Guinea, Volunteers who were evacuated will not be returning anytime soon, but will have the option of reinstatement, if the situation should clear up by October 31, 2015. Currently, Peace Corps Guinea staff and administration are hopeful that G27's spring arrival date will hold, but the situation will need to improve dramatically before then. Nevertheless, staff and administration are continuing operations as normal in Guinea, albeit with CDC oversight.

Ebola Relief Fund Grantees

     For several weeks now, Friends of Guinea, along with its sister organizations in Sierra Leone and Liberia, has been soliciting grant proposals from Host Country Nationals combating Ebola in the affected region. In collaboration with the National Peace Corps Association, the organizations are seeking worthy proposals of up to $3,000, with the intention of supporting local grassroots organizations that may not have other sources of funding.

     While the Ebola Relief Fund campaign continues, and we are still seeking grant proposals, we are happy to announce that three deserving proposals have been selected from Guinea in the first round. The NGOs AGEDD, AGUIFPEG, and Amis du Monde pour le Developpement, have each been selected to receive $3,000 to advance their cause. Each NGO is operating in a district that has seen Ebola cases: AGEDD is seeking to raise awareness in public places such as mosques and markets around Forecariah; AGUIFPEG of Kindia is aiming to promote awareness through theater; and AMD will be using its funds to transport supplies and hire community organizers in the heavily affected N'zerekore district.

     We at FOG are very grateful for all of the applications that we received and all of the work being done on the ground in the region. We are, furthermore, excited to continue receiving proposals as the campaign continues, and we hope that we can help to make some difference in the communities where these organizations operate.