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Ebola treatment center at a hospital in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (MONUSCO / Alain Coulibaly Photo via Flickr)

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is looking for smart ideas to fight Ebola and has opened a call for applications for an accelerator program.

An outbreak of the disease has killed 587 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since last August. It is the tenth outbreak in the country since the virus was discovered there in 1976 near the Ebola River. Aid efforts in the region have been slowed by community mistrust and attacks from armed groups.

The foundation is calling for solutions from organizations already working in the area that can be deployed quickly and align with the World Health Organization’s strategic plan for the region. The foundation is only considering proposals of less than $1 million and focusing on three areas:

  • Treatment access for people in hard to access and insecure locations
  • Community engagement
  • Data solutions for improved responsiveness and decision making

When the disease was raging across West Africa in 2014, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen donated $100 million to relief efforts. He said the outbreak was “unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced.” Allen died last fall, two weeks after announcing he had been diagnosed with a recurrence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The deadline for submissions to the foundation’s challenge is March 25. There is no limit on the number of entries each organization can make. The foundation said the total dollar amount granted would depend on the number and quality of submissions.

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