International Paralympic Committee joins #TargetEbola campaign
18 | 12 | 2014
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has pledged its support to #TargetEbola – an online and social media campaign led by the WOA that is raising awareness and funds to help tackle the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
The support from the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement is a significant boost to the campaign and the organisation joins a growing list of sporting bodies to back the initiative including World Rugby, the International Golf Federation, SportAccord, Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne [UIPM], and sports business platform iSportConnect.
A host of high profile Olympians including Usain Bolt, Novak Djokovic, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Claudia Bokel and Hicham el Guerrouj are also promoting the campaign, which uses the social media hashtag #TargetEbola.
IPC President, Sir Philip Craven, said:
“The IPC recognises the devastating nature of this terrible disease and as an organisation we are keen to do everything we can to help those affected. One of the aims of the Paralympic Movement is to build a bridge linking sport and social awareness and this extends to issues such as the Ebola crisis.
“In many ways the Paralympic values of courage, determination and inspiration are present in the healthcare workers and volunteers putting themselves at risk trying to fight the virus in West Africa. We are proud to unite with the WOA against Ebola and we urge everyone in the Paralympic community and the wider sporting world to get behind #TargetEbola.”
Latest figures from the World Health Organisation [WHO] show the disease is still rampant. The death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone stands at 6,388, while the number of those infected with the virus is close to 18,000. Authorities admit these figures are likely to be vastly underestimated due to the under-reporting of illnesses and deaths from Ebola.
WOA President, Joël Bouzou, said:
“The continued suffering by those affected by Ebola highlights why the #TargetEbola campaign is so important. Our goal is to mobilise the international sporting community and draw attention to how the public around the world can raise awareness and essential funds for the people who need it most.
“I would like to thank Sir Phillip Craven and the IPC for their support and I believe that by working collaboratively with other sporting bodies we can make a real difference.”
#TargetEbola was launched in October 2014 following a plea to the WOA from two-time Sierra Leone Olympian Francis Dove Edwin who is also a member of Presidential task force to fight the spread of the virus in his home country. Since then the WOA has teamed up with international aid organisation Oxfam and US humanitarian NGO Medisend International to deliver much needed supplies to West Africa.
The WOA is appealing to the rest of its 100,000 strong Olympian community and the wider sporting family around the world to get involved and promote #TargetEbola, the donation link, www.targetebola.org/donate, and the SMS details, Text TARGET to 70066 [UK only].
The #TargetEbola selfie kit can be downloaded here: www.targetebola.org/selfie. Olympians and the general public are encouraged to print off the kit and pose for a selfie.
International Federations can find out more about how they can make a difference by visiting the dedicated resources page on the #TargetEbola website. Go to targetebola.org/resources to discover what your organisation can do to get behind this important campaign.