MOSCOW, September 22 (RIA Novosti), Ekaterina Blinova - The outbreak of the disastrous Ebola virus is threatening the three West African states' "national existence," experts say.
"Liberia was in its 11th year of peace. We experienced, because of our war, a 90 per cent collapse in the productive sector of our economy, we were rebuilding and our health infrastructure was not what it should have been. We were just bringing back hope and life when we were struck by Ebola. It is having terrible consequences for every aspect of our national existence," said Lewis Brown, the Minister for Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism in Liberia, as cited by the Independent.
Citing the World Bank report, the USA Today emphasizes that the deadly epidemic will cost the three poor West African states more than $800 million by the end of 2015. Analysts underscore that if epidemic is not brought under control in the nearest future the costs will increase significantly.
Meanwhile, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are suffering from food shortages and rising food prices.
"The Ebola crisis has had a major impact not only on the public health sector, but also on the agricultural sector. We've seen … that the disease has had an impact on the price and availability of products, and the marketing and trade, because of the constraints," says Martin Vincent, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Resilience Hub, as quoted by the USA Today.
According to Liberia's Minister Lewis Brown, "an entire farming season has been wasted" in the agricultural regions, which have been struck by Ebola.
"We're all suffering because we have no food to eat right now," complaints Juliet Zahan, a Monrovian city-dweller, as cited by the USA Today.
"People have money, but where to get and buy food is a problem. The government should find ways of feeding these slum-dwellers before they start dying of hunger."
Still, the states are at risk of further food shortages, since traders fear to travel to the infected areas: misinformation about the disease spread has led to growing isolation of the regions hit by Ebola and to stigmatization of people living there.