Operating principles & contributions

Operating principles 

What started as an inter-company sharing of information has since grown to include advocacy for a global response to the Ebola virus disease and the mobilisation of in-country resources to support the humanitarian and healthcare first responders.

 The commitments that the group shares and espouses include the following:

  1. To remain in the region and to be part of the region's long-term economic and social recovery and development.
  2. To ensure employees, families and communities are aware of the disease and are taking the best precautions to avoid infection and stigma.
  3. To share experiences and resources, including trained personnel and practices, to assist governments and partners mobilise quickly to control the spread of the disease. 
  4. To offer loan or gift-appropriate physical assets and resources essential to the deployment of an integrated response by donors, militaries, host governments, NGOs and community-based organisations.
  5. To make available information about needs of various organisations and first responders so that they can be connected to corporate giving.
  6. To commit to learning from this outbreak and working together to support a stronger health care emergency response and to assist in rebuilding stronger healthcare systems in the affected countries.  
  7. To raise international awareness and advocate for a larger global coordinated effort to combat Ebola.
  8. To advocate for these countries to have open trade and humanitarian corridors, by air, land and sea in line with international WHO recommendations.

The EPSMG seeks to provide a forum; it does not speak for any individual company or sector. It is further recognised that companies will make their own decisions based upon their resources, their in-country capacities and their own corporate compliance procedures.

EPSMG governance at this time continues to be ArcelorMittal, serving as chair of the group.  The EPSMG does not have a spokesperson or a single voice. Initiatives will continue to be coordinated on company by company basis. Membership and recruitment will remain through peer to peer contacts.


Contribution of the private sector to date

As a consortium of individual companies, the EPSMG in West Africa continues to make the following key contributions to combating the Ebola outbreak:

  1. Educating and protecting employees – since the onset of the Ebola outbreak most companies began by briefing their staff on the nature of the disease, the risks and measures for prevention.  As the risks become more apparent, many businesses developed their own systems for testing, diagnosis and treatment. Many employers now also have contact maps for their work force. 
  2. Taking the message home and into the community – the briefings given to employees undoubtedly reach their families and wider social circle. Likewise many companies have taken the messaging into local communities neighbouring their operations using their own staff as peer-to-peer communicators.  Senior leaders are organising, supporting and contributing to this effort.  Many companies are supporting local information campaigns to help share the messages of leading NGOs and Ebola response organisations on local radio, television etc – whatever is most practical and applicable for the local (and often remote) context. 
  3. Maintaining momentum in the economy – the economic costs of the outbreak are worrying – this includes both macro economic impact but also purchasing power and price inflation impacting day to day life.  Businesses have maintained and continue to maintain “business as usual” to the best of their ability.  This includes keeping employees on their payroll and paying taxes – both vital contributions to these countries at this time. 
  4. Direct support on the front line – companies have donated personnel, equipment, building infrastructure and cash. EPSMG members are not in many cases medical experts but they have other expertise such construction, logistics, distribution services which can and have proven essential.  Each company identifies where and how they can support, and EPSMG helps to facilitate connections between companies and support organisations. 
  5. Advocacy – the private sector understands a lot about risk management and disaster recovery, their expertise and voice should be heard alongside others’ on the front line, as well as government bodies. The private sector’s views and support for recovery and lessons learned will be essential.  EPSMG was formed to create a coordinated voice for the private sector to urge for massive and coordinated international support to respond to the Ebola outbreak.  EPSMG has also actively advocated for Ebola affected countries to have open trade and humanitarian corridors in line with WHO recommendations.
  6. Long term commitment – the private sector invests in these countries and the region for the long term.  EPSMG members have made significant investments to support the short and long term prosperity of the region.

What started as an inter-company sharing of information has since grown to include advocacy for a global response to the Ebola virus disease and the mobilisation of in-country resources to support the humanitarian and healthcare first responders.

See our illustrated flyer of contributions created April 2015


For further information, see key contacts