How Google and Online Businesses are Reacting to The Ebola Crisis

When a global crisis like the Ebola out break emerges, it is natural for charities and effected organisations to implement action plans raising funds and supporting people in the affected areas. With the recent spread of the Ebola virus, we have seen international online businesses take action too.

Earlier this week Google CEO Larry Page announced on the search giant’s official blog that the company would be running a campaign to attract donations and help fight the Ebola virus.

Google Fight Ebola campaign

Google’s ‘double up’ donation initiative will see them donate $2 for every $1 donated through their website, in addition to $10 million that will be donated to various non profit organisations and $15 million donated separately from the family foundation.

Google aren’t the only global business player taking action to support those affected by Ebola. Facebook has also launched an awareness initiative that will roll out this week, whereby a personalised donation message appears at the top of a users feed each time they log in.

Recent reports by Forbes and The Australian Government department of Foreign Affairs and trade have shown that the risk of the disease spreading to African countries like South Africa and Kenya are in fact lower than them spreading to countries like France, the UK and Belgium.

Probabiliy of Ebola case importation

As an online travel company offering safaris to Southern and East Africa, monitor technology and travel news very closely and understand that in today’s market one has to be innovative and react to the news agenda. The fact that global brands like Google are getting behind the fight against Ebola is hugely encouraging. It is the example set by global businesses with digital influence that will enhance support and contributions to the cause, which can encourage smaller businesses to follow suit as well as influencing individuals to donate.

There is a still a huge misconception of the dangers of travelling to certain parts of Africa however. Destinations in East Africa and Southern Africa have unfortunately seen significant downturn in travel bookings since the Ebola cases were reported in West Africa, while there is very little evidence to suggest countries like South Africa and Kenya present health risks to travellers.

The World Bank has estimated that Ebola could cost the global economy over $32 billion by the end of 2015 if the viral infection spreads into countries that neighbour those already affected by the outbreak.

The way that online businesses operate means that they have an advantage as they can react to timely issues and news as well as being proactive on social media and digital communications channels. I hope to see more organisations being proactive in their support to stop the spread of Ebola and drive fundraising for those in need.