Various nations, organizations, and individuals have donated more than $507 million in humanitarian assistance to West Africa in its fight against Ebola. On Tuesday, Mark Zuckerberg pledged $25 million of his own — more than the donations by the governments of China, Canada, and France combined.
The Facebook founder wrote in a Facebook post that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, will give that sum to the Centers for Disease Control Foundation, a nonprofit organization that connects the CDC with private-sector groups to create health programs.
“We need to get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn’t spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at large scale, like HIV or polio,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. “We believe our grant is the quickest way to empower the CDC and the experts in this field to prevent this outcome.”
The United States leads donors in contributions to the West Africa outbreak this year, with $167.5 million, or about 33 percent of total donations, according to the Financial Tracking Service, which documents the flow of humanitarian aid to various causes. The World Bank ranks second, with $105 million. Third place lumps together all the private individuals and organizations who have contributed, excluding Zuckerberg: $54.9 million.
Zuckerberg’s $25 million donation tops contributions by the United Kingdom, ($18.8 million), Germany ($15.3 million), Australia ($13.9 million), China ($8.3 million), France ($6.6 million), and Canada ($4.3 million).
Zuckerberg is just one private citizen, though, so comparing his contribution to that of an entire country is not entirely fair. But his sizable donation adds significantly to the total given to Ebola response efforts by individuals and corporations so far, which CNNMoney reports has lagged far behind the money donated to relief efforts for natural disasters, like the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Microsoft founder Bill Gates’s contribution to fighting the outbreak — $50 million from his foundation to United Nations agencies involved in treating and containing the virus on the ground in West Africa — helped that too. Their big contributions show that some billionaires are already doing more for this Ebola outbreak than entire nations could.