What happens when you combine a hundred thousand individuals, the World Food Programme, the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) and one of the world's largest Internet companies? They set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD within a day!
WFP, along with the CFPA, joined the Internet giant Tencent in a campaign to engage online users and raise money for WFP's Ebola response operation - and to say they smashed it would be an understatement. Between midnight on December 23rd and midnight on December 24th, 105,803 individual netizens in China joined the campaign to make a donation, setting a new fundraising record for the most individual donations on a single online platform in 24 hours.
The money raised, totalling US$194,958 will go directly to WFP's emergency operations in the three countries worst affected by Ebola - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. To date, WFP has been moving aid supplies throughout the region and has fed 2.7 million people, including patients, survivors and those under quarantine, to help affected communities, contain the disease and support people's transition of out crisis.
Mariatu Kargbo , Global Cultural Ambassador of Republic of Sierra Leone, Brett Rierson, the Representative of WFP China, and Rowan Simons, President of Guinness World Records Greater China holding a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS certificate for most individual donations for a campaign on a single online platform in 24 hours.
"Every contribution from Tencent QQ users will make a difference to families in West Africa dealing with this terrible disease," said Jay Aldous, WFP's Director for Private Sector Partnerships. "WFP is overwhelmed by the generosity of the Chinese people and for their reaction to this campaign, which has been fundamental in raising further awareness of the agency's Ebola operations world-wide."
Yin Yu, Vice President of Tencent also highlighted the power of technology as a tool for future fundraising, saying that the campaign underlines Tencent's commitment to continue to look at how technology can be used as a force for good around the world.
In response to the campaign, Global Cultural Ambassador of the Republic of Sierra Leone Mariatu Kargbo, said: "Can you imagine, that's more than 100,000 personal messages of love from China that arrived in West Africa on Christmas Day. And now it helps WFP provide nearly 400,000 meals to the most affected families. Thank you, China."
The World Health Organisation recently announced that 18,603 cases and 6,913 deaths have been reported by the health ministries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This ground-breaking fundraising campaign will allow WFP to continue pushing forward in the fight against Ebola.
You can still donate to help support those affected by the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
Copyright United Nations World Food Programme. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).