Last week FIATA held its yearly World Congress in Istanbul, a successful Congress from many points of view, but surprises were not confined to logistics… FIATA decided to start a fund to help fight the ebola outbreak and to place its worldwide resources at the service of the various international bodies that are taking action against the epidemic, but the real breakthrough came during the gala dinner held last Friday night, where the nearly 1,000 participants collected more than US$110,000 to top up the initial donation made available by FIATA itself.
What started as an off-the-cuff comment in the Advisory Body Safety and Security Meeting about the devastating Ebola situation in West Africa grew into a full-fledge fund garnering vast support and enthusiasm. Within sixty minutes of announcing the FIATA Fund for Ebola Relief, over US$100,000 was pledged by FIATA Members around the world within a very short period of time, all of them standing and coming up onto the stage with their pledges. This will be transferred and donated to the Red Cross/Red Crescent and Médecines Sans Frontières in equal portions.
Francesco Parisi, speaking to members in the hall, said: “This remarkable and spontaneous endeavour just goes to highlight what quality the FIATA membership has and what can be accomplished when we enthusiastically combine our strengths and generosity into the action of one determined body with good intentions.”