In response to governments and international organizations which are fighting against the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and are calling for helps, Panasonic donated 240 solar lanterns to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in December 2014. Solar lanterns are now providing light to Ebola survivors, orphans, medical teams and workers fighting the epidemic in the affected areas of Liberia, where the outbreak is especially serious.
On February 19, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Response Unit at UNDP, visited Satoshi Takeyasu, Panasonic Corporation Executive Officer in charge of Groupwide Brand Communications Division.
"The solar lanterns not only shed light on the lives of these people, they can also help the fight against Ebola by enabling wire transfer via cell phones thanks to the solar lanterns' charger functions. We appreciate your support for our emergency relief and early recovery efforts," said Ms. Nakamitsu, who leads UNDP's response to crisis.
“Our solar lanterns are provided to Ebola survivors who have almost nothing when they are discharged from treatment clinics, since their belongings are incinerated when they test positive and are admitted for treatment,” stated Takeyasu. “Solar lanterns have also been distributed to people living in quarantined areas, where access to electricity is often limited. In the capital Monrovia, solar lanterns are supporting medical teams while they work at nighttime.”
The response to the Ebola crisis still needs much support. Panasonic will continue to contribute to relief efforts in countries that have been hit especially hard by the epidemic.
(In the photo: left, Satoshi Takeyasu; right, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu.)