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Paul Allen Donates 10,000 Smartphones to Combat Ebola in West Africa

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72005638Philanthropist Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder, has said he will ship more than 10,000 specially programmed smartphones to West Africa to enhance data collection and identify aid needs.

Mr. Allen will also give a grant to NetHope to further connectivity throughout Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone as part of his $100 million commitment to tackle the Ebola crisis.

The smartphones will enable government workers and humanitarian aid volunteers to gather reliable data about the effectiveness of relief efforts in affected areas. The data will be used to help government and private aid organizations to more effectively assess the pressing on-the-ground needs and deploy the right resources to address them. Relief workers will use the phones to collect information about the Ebola situation to share with the Humanitarian Data Exchange.

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“We need reliable data to understand what is going on in impacted areas to get ahead of the Ebola crisis,” said Mr. Allen. “NetHope is working closely with the UN and all of the large response organizations to identify the gaps in communications capacity. Today, we are committing resources to boost communication and data collection capabilities to more effectively fight Ebola in West Africa.”

Mr. Allen and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation the likes of Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and hundreds others who have given to help combat the outbreak in West Africa.

NetHope will use the funding to set up a Connectivity Accelerator Fund (CAF) to increase existing connectivity at 45 locations.
Samsung recently donated smartphones to also help connect the relief teams to relaible internet in efforts to help curb the epidemic.
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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakoba
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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