Microsoft co-founder and US billionaire Paul Allen said he would donate $100 million to the fight against the Ebola virus, in the midst of news that it has hit even New York, raising the possibility of an outbreak.
Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, said in an interview with the daily New York Times on Friday that he decided to announce the donation because he “feels called” to do something about the deadly epidemic that broke out in West Africa.
The resurgence of Ebola has left more than 4,500 people dead to date, mostly in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry.
“We’re up against an extremely tough opponent here,” Allen said in a statement cited in the Times. “The exponential nature of the growth of this disease is really a challenge — we’ve already seen in the US where one case quickly became two,” the entrepreneur said.
The announced donation quadruples a previous commitment by the same magnate, who had said he would provide $26 million to humanitarian organisations and government agencies in order to help stop Ebola.