The Sime Darby Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sime Darby is contributing USD157,220 (CHF140,056) to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to carry out Ebola awareness programmes and campaigns in Liberia.
IFRC is working with the Liberian Red Cross Society (LRCS), which is leading efforts to control the spread of the Ebola virus disease through programmes to reduce mortality and morbidity related to the Ebola virus disease which has to date claimed more than 600 lives in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Key activities will include training and mobilization of volunteers to affected communities and providing psychosocial support to help those affected, continue with their lives. Other activities being considered include setting up diagnosis facilities, expanding on-going awareness programmes to Sime Darby estates and developing an identification system to manage any outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
IRFC and LRCS hope to educate people on how the virus is transmitted and dispel rumours and misconceptions on the mode of transmission. The eight-month awareness programme is expected to reach 1.5 million people in Liberia.
Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) currently has a workforce of almost 3,000.
In 2009, Sime Darby signed a 63-year concession agreement with the government of Liberia and was awarded over 220,000 hectares of land to be developed into oil palm plantations in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Bong counties.