After the earthquake in Haiti, the American Red Cross raised $486 million. To date, it has only received $100,000 in individual donations to fight Ebola.
The United Nations estimates we will need about a $1 billion to contain this outbreak.
Here is my question: Why don’t we care? And when I say we, I’m referring to those of us in the West. For months people in Africa have been dying. If we had cared, we could have responded in a concerted effort and we could have saved thousands of lives. If we cared now, we might still be able to pool our resources and stem the tide that will likely reach 1.4 million infected individuals in the next 4 months. But, apparently, we don’t really care yet. How do I know? Because my facebook page hasn’t been inundated with ice-bucket challenges trying to raise donations to fight Ebola.
So when will we start caring? When will the organizations on the front lines begin to see the five and ten dollar donations pouring in from the tens of millions of concerned Americans who may not have a ton of money but can at least spare a few bucks for a worthy cause?
And why is it taking so long? This is a question I’m afraid to explore. I think the art at the beginning of this post by André Carrilho, an illustrator and cartoonist based in Lisbon whose work has appeared in the New York Times, speaks volumes.
The time to act is yesterday.
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