You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Join Red Cross Effort to Combat Zika

Generous $1.5 million grant to the Red Cross will support public education, preparedness and battle the spread of the Zika virus in at-risk communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. [February 19, 2016]—Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Inc. has teamed up with the global Red Cross network to fight the Zika virus, a vector-borne illness spread by Aedes mosquitoes.

Through a $1.5 million contribution, Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Inc. are funding the Red Cross effort to intensify community awareness and engagement efforts to mitigate the outbreak’s impact. Activities will focus on health, sanitation, hygiene promotion and preparedness for to up to 1.2 million people in countries affected by the virus.

Zika—one of many mosquito-borne viruses found in the tropics—has a potential association with an increase in the birth of babies with microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. As of mid-February, more than 25 countries and territories in the Americas have confirmed circulation of Zika virus.

In the battle against Zika, knowledge is power. Equipping communities with the information and tools they need is essential in reaching the most vulnerable individuals and households.

With generous support from Paul G. Allen and Vulcan, Inc., the global Red Cross network can ramp up its efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in communities most at-risk. This includes intensive clean-up and elimination of mosquito breeding-grounds, as well as educating families about how to prevent the spread of the Zika virus through rigorous dissemination of health messages.

Red Cross teams are working with families to reduce breeding sites for mosquitoes in stagnant water and rubble. Activities include solid waste clean-up, clearing of drainage ditches, and community awareness activities. Mosquito control strategies must be tailored house-by-house, community-by-community and neighborhood-by-neighborhood.

“Education and innovation are vital to stemming global health epidemics. Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Inc.’s generous contribution supports the global Red Cross network’s ability to prevent the spread of Zika and identify new ways of addressing present and future health emergencies,” stated Harold Brooks, senior vice president of International Services at the American Red Cross.

Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Inc.’s contribution will help the world’s largest humanitarian network combat Zika on both local and international levels. Red Cross volunteers are drawn from the very communities they serve. They speak the same languages and hold the same fears as their neighbors, but are ready to care and support. Armed with knowledge and training, they can be an effective front line response.

About Paul G. Allen and Vulcan:

The funding for these grants comes from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and follows Mr. Allen’s $100 million commitment to help end the Ebola outbreak. These grants build on Paul G. Allen and Vulcan Inc. history of support for health research and public health initiatives, and illustrate his commitment to ensuring the world is better prepared to prevent future pandemics.

About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jody Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $475 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, and advance scientific and technological discoveries. For more information, go to www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.