UNDP and Panasonic step up their support for Ebola-affected communities

Jul 15, 2015


New York, 15 July 2015 — UNDP and Japanese electronics manufacturer Panasonic Corporation have delivered a second batch of 3,000 solar lanterns to the three countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.

The lamps were distributed during the second week of July, based on the needs of each community.  The solar lanterns are the only source of bright light for many households in some of Ebola-affected communities and the project picked households who are either quarantined or recovering from the epidemic.

“Businesses are now helping us fight Ebola with unprecedented innovation and creativity. Their contribution will also stay in those countries on the long-term, serving very important basic needs,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.

“It gives us great pleasure that Panasonic's products have been contributing to UNDP's efforts in helping Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone recover from the Ebola crisis,” said Rika Fukuda, General Manager, CSR & Citizenship Department, Panasonic Corporation. “We hope that people and communities affected by Ebola will regain their health and get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

In Forécariah, in Southeastern Guinea, the lamps were distributed to quarantined families who have had few resources to sustain themselves. UNDP handed them out alongside rice, cooking oil, fish, soap and chlorine. In Liberia’s Montserrado County, where the capital is located, quarantined household received the solar powered lights along with wind-up solar radios made by a South African NGO called Lifeline Energy.

 “Buying batteries for our older lights was difficult, but since the [Panasonic] lights came, we are so happy. Two or three of us can sit around it and study conveniently,” said Wisdom Kargbo, 24, who lives in the coastal town of Grafton, Sierra Leone.

Private sector organizations have stepped up their support to early recovery efforts in cooperation with local partners, donating equipment and delivering services that will both benefit communities immediately and serve them long after the epidemic has ended.

Contact information

For additional information, please contact Nicolas Douillet in New York at nicolas.douillet@undp.org or +1 (212) 9065937.

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