Monday, October 20, 2014
Donations for Ebola Relief Efforts Are Slow to Take Off
Ever since terrorists took down the World Trade Center in 2001, Americans have generously supported the organizations that swing into action after earthquakes, floods, cyclones, mudslides and other disasters. Propelled by the Internet and cellphones, which make giving as easy as clicking a button, Americans have donated billions of dollars to help victims of the 2004 tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean, the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, and the 2010 Haitian earthquake, among other calamities.
But the Ebola crisis is different, charity officials and experts say, though it is hard to say exactly why. Perhaps it lacks the visual drama of a natural disaster. Or it is harder for people to understand what their money can do to fight a disease with such a high mortality rate and no sure treatment. It is not even clear that providing food, housing and protective equipment will have any impact — or how those things will get where they are most needed....