The Clinton Global Initiative has announced that Direct Relief and several CGI partners have committed to airlift a hundred tons of medical supplies to help contain the fast-spreading Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
CGI members Last Mile Health, Wellbody Alliance, and Africare, along with partners on the ground like the Clinton Health Access Initiative, will work with the ministries of health in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and other affected countries to effectively distribute personal protective equipment and medical supplies to clinics, health facilities, and hospitals. Valued at $6 million, the cargo of 2.8 million surgical and exam gloves, 170,000 coverall gowns, 120,000 masks, 40,000 liters of pre-mixed oral rehydration solution, and 9.8 million doses of essential medications is the largest single emergency shipment to date from the U.S. to the region.
"This airlift, organized by several CGI members and led by Direct Relief, truly exemplifies the spirit of the Clinton Global Initiative — to see a pressing issue in the world, and work together to commit to bringing their specific resources and specialties to bear on the problem," said Clinton Global Initiative CEO Bob Harrison. "I also want to recognize the work of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and Partners in Health in coordinating our response on the ground in Africa."
The airlift was announced on the eve of the tenth annual CGI meeting, which opened in New York City on Sunday with the Clinton Global Citizen Awards ceremony. This year's awards recognized Greg Asbed and Lucas Benitez, co-founders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, for their work on behalf of farm workers across the United States; Leonardo DiCaprio, founder of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, for his support of environmental causes and ocean preservation; Irwin Mark Jacobs, founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm Inc., for helping to bring wireless technology to underserved communities globally; Atifete Jahjaga, president of the Republic of Kosovo, for promoting reconciliation in the region and building his country's political and economic institutions; and Hayat Sindi, founder and CEO of the i2 Institute, for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East.
"These honorees represent some of the most visionary leaders in the world and embody what it means to be a true global citizen," said President Bill Clinton. "Having brought together and lifted a nation, given a voice to marginalized populations, worked to protect our fragile environment, and equipped our next generation with the skills they need to succeed, I'm encouraged by their efforts and optimistic about our collective future."