Ebola relief fund: Which country is the biggest donor relative to its economy? (Hint: It’s not the US)

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, on Sunday criticised the lack of international support for countries affected by Ebola, according to a report in the Guardian.

Ahead of her tour to West African nations hit by Ebola, Ms Power said that many countries were signing on to resolutions and praising the good work that the United States and the United Kingdom had done, but hadn’t taken the responsibility yet to send money, doctors and aid.

The US is the single largest contributor of funds to the United Nations’ Ebola relief fund, having donated more than $300 million so far. Canada ($51.2 million) and the UK ($44.4 million) come next in the list of countries that have donated to the fund. Here is the table listing the top 10 donors, including individual bodies and associations, as of Monday:

Country USD contributed  USD pledged
United States 312,659,895 46,508,627
World Bank 105,000,000 113,000,000
Private (individuals & organisations) 61,669,429 106,394,391
European Commission 55,208,544 54,018,445
Canada 51,199,620 6,128,636
African Development Bank 45,366,252 17,400,000
United Kingdom 44,406,574 295,216,418
Sweden 27,627,398 38,825,617
Germany 22,651,277 109,307,428
Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) 15,194,451 0

However, if the donation is calculated relative to the country’s economy, the US and UK rank behind Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Kuwait in the list of donor nations.

Sweden’s contribution of $27.6 million is the highest donation when it comes to percentage of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These are the top 10 donor countries when GDP is taken into account:


Power wasn’t the only official who had criticised the lack of international support.

Another UN official had earlier laid into China’s billionaires for their lack of contribution. Brett Rierson, a World Food Programme representative in China, told the Telegraph:

“Where are the Chinese billionaires and their potential impact? Because this is the time that they could really have such a huge impact.”

According to the latest figures released by the UN’s Financial Tracking System, China has donated $8 million so far and pledged another $50 million. According to an ABC News report, 200 Chinese medical staff and humanitarian aid workers are also stationed in west Africa.

Some developing nations have also played a role in providing valuable aid to the affected countries, apart from donating funds.

The Ghanaian capital of Accra is now the headquarters for the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

Around 165 Cuban doctors have already been sent to Sierra Leone, according to ABC News. Almost a hundred more, alongside nurses are expected to join them.

In September, the United Nations had announced that nearly $1 billion would be required to be raised by December 1 to reduce the rate of transmission of the disease. As of October 27, $845 million has been raised.

The World health Organisation (WHO) has declared Ebola as an international health emergency. The outbreak began in February, spreading within West Africa, affecting Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Ebola is transferred to humans through contact with infected animals and can spread from person to person through bodily fluids.

Featured image courtesy: NIAID (Creative Commons)

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