Street Child is delighted to hear Sir Bob Geldof’s confirmation that children orphaned by Ebola will benefit from sales of the Band Aid 30 single. Sir Bob gave the undertaking to Sunday Mirror journalist Matt Drake in an interview published this weekend, endorsing the Sunday Mirror’s appeal for Street Child’s urgent work with Ebola orphans.
Despite much publicity of the orphan issue, looking at the state of affairs on the ground, the only place that matters; it is plain that very little has been done for orphans yet, beyond Street Child’s work. Government data and reports from our teams continue to indicate that Street Child is still the only field organisation presently working on any scale with Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone and Liberia. This is despite the fact that this crisis has been intense for over six months.
To date, Street Child has delivered support to over 5,000 orphans in the two countries and is straining to do more. Our projections, privately shared by other key organisations, are that over 20,000 children have been effectively orphaned by the crisis and need urgent help.
Street Child is very hopeful that Band Aid will chose to partner with us on the issue of Ebola orphans. We are on the ground, working flat out now, and indeed our only real barrier to providing instant care to thousands more children is cash. However, who Band Aid or anyone else partners with is their choice and not the most important thing. The most important thing of all is simply that the aid gets to these children - fast. There are thousands of orphans in these countries right now who have no idea when or where their next meal is coming from - that is a situation which demands rapid action, not drawn out planning.
The very first step in that process is pledging the aid, which Sir Bob has clearly done. For this, and his other inspirational humanitarian achievements we very warmly congratulate him. As vital as the medical battle that is being fought against Ebola is, far too little attention has been given to the children who have had their lives turned upside down by this horrible, family wrecking disease.