The Salvation Army Response to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

November 21, 2014
Betsy Baldwin |

The Salvation Army Response to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

What is the Salvation Army Doing?

The Salvation Army Liberia Command is responding to the outbreak. There are currently 6 projects in Liberia that have helped over 23,000 people. In Sierra Leone, also a part of Liberia Command, a project will start soon to assist 4,500 people. These projects have assisted those in quarantine with food, provided chlorine, awareness raising campaigns, assistance to families who have lost family members and personal protective equipment for health care workers. The Salvation Army is not providing direct medical treatment. SAWSO funded one of these projects aimed to support 1,000 men; 2,500 women; and 1,500 children in quarantine with food and water.

There are currently no cases of Ebola virus disease in Ghana, however the Ghana Territory is about to begin a proactive response in 12 health centers providing personal protective equipment and education.

In addition to the community based response, a fund has been set up at the request of the General to support TSA officers, employees and their families who are or have had family members suffer from the disease. SAWSO supported this project, and additional funds are needed.

What are the Salvation Army’s plans for the future?

Each week Liberia Command develops more projects and plans for the recovery that will that need funding, currently they are:

  1. Assist 11 schools with disinfectant, repairs and replacement furniture, supplies and salary allowance for teachers in anticipation of schools reopening in January 2015. $239,000 of funding needed
  2. Support orphans and vulnerable children whose families have been affected by Ebola. Funding amount to be determined.
  3. Three month food distribution for a community in Liberia with a high death toll, focusing on 500 families. $104,000
  4. Post-Ebola Support to Farmers. This project will support farmers to return to their fields. Funding amount to be determined.


Situation Overview

14,098 Total number of Reported Cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Cases in Acutely Affected Countries

5,160 Total Number of Suspected and Confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Cases in Acutely Affected Countries*

U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) –November 13, 2014

Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia are the main West African countries affected.

Nigeria has been declared Ebola free since October 20, 2014 by the World Health Organization


The first case of Ebola virus disease appeared in Sierra Leone in March 2014, and spread to humans from close contact or consumption of fruit bats. Since the discovery of the disease in 1976 there have been 24 outbreaks in various parts of Africa that have been contained and ended. The fatality rate for people infected with Ebola is between 40% - 90%, with the current outbreak closer to 60% fatality rate. Current new infections are still rising rapidly and ongoing work to educate people on transmission, provide isolation for those with suspected cases, provide rapid testing facilities, and safely bury the bodies of those who have died is needed.

Currently, a large international aid response is underway in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The World Health Organization, the United Nations, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are the main organizations overseeing and monitoring this outbreak. The US Government has given $414 million to support the response and deployed public health staff, military engineers, and NGO response projects.


U.S. State Department Humanitarian Information Unit Map of the Crisis:

More questions? Please reach out to Betsy Baldwin, Technical Advisor – Disaster Relief and Recovery, SAWSO. or 703-299-5541.



About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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