16:16 GMT27 February 2021
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    The work to end the Ebola outbreak should be accompanied by efforts to recover the economies of the three Western-African countries, Ban Ki-moon also added.

    UNITED NATIONS, December 5 (Sputnik) — Ebola has set back the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, three countries that have been affected by the virus the most, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.

    "Incomes are down, prices have risen, markets are bare and people are hungry…The people and Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have suffered much and shown great resilience. They are counting on the international community to help end the Ebola outbreak and support their swift and full recovery," Ban stated.

    UN Secretary-General also said that the work to end the Ebola outbreak should be accompanied by efforts to recover the economies of the three Western-African countries.

    David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy on Ebola, said during the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) special meeting on the threat of the deadly virus on Friday that "long term recovery will need significant resources and the sustained commitment of the international community and the UN system."

    Margaret Chan, Director-General of World Health Organization, in turn confirmed that Ebola's current outbreak "is the largest, longest, most severe, and most complex" since the virus was first discovered four decades ago.

    "What began as a health crisis has become a humanitarian crisis, a social crisis, an economic crisis, and a security crisis. Travel and trade bans have been imposed. Markets are not functioning. Fields are fallow. Fear of hunger competes with fear of infection," Chan added.

    According to the World Bank, all three economies had been vibrant and growing rapidly before the outbreak of the virus intensified. Projected growth in Liberia in 2014 is now 2.2 percent against the 5.9 percent before the crisis and 2.5 percent in October.

    Even more striking is the difference in the economic growth of Sierra Leone – today's four percent against the 11.3 percent that was in place before the crisis, and the eight percent this October.

    Guinea's estimated growth in 2014 is 0.5 percent, which is much lower than the growth rate (4.5 percent) in the times running up to the crisis, and the 2.4 percent that was in October.

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    Tags:
    World Health Organization (WHO), economy, Ebola virus disease (EVD), United Nations, Margaret Chan, Ban Ki-moon, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone
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