MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a report Monday, forecasting more than five percent regional economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2014 amid the economic burden of the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
"The strong growth trends of recent years in the sub-Saharan Africa region are expected to continue. The region's economy is forecast to continue growing at a fast clip, expanding by about five percent in 2014," the report stated.
Further to this, the growth is more pronounced in the lower income countries where a growth of 6.75 to seven percent in expected in 2014 to 2015. According to the IMF, the growth is owed to the increased investment in infrastructure, the growing service sector and strong agricultural productions.
"This positive picture, however, co-exists with the dire situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where, beyond the unbearable number of deaths, suffering, and social dislocation, the Ebola outbreak is exacting a heavy economic toll," Director of the IMF's African Department Antoinette Sayeh, was quoted as saying in the report.
Sayeh explains that although some countries of the region have continued to bolster the economy, high growth and favorable global financial market may not be sufficient in reversing debt buildup while the countries affected by Ebola struggle to maintain the economy.
"Ideally, support should be provided through grants from the donor community, to enable the countries to accommodate higher Ebola-related spending and to help avoid an even more pronounced decline in economic activity," Sayeh was quoted as saying.
Last week, following UN Chief Ban Ki-moon's urgent appeal for donations to help fight the deadly virus, the UN received only $100,000 in a call for a $1 billion fund.
According to the World Health Organization, the Ebola virus, with no known cure or effective vaccine, has so far claimed the lives of over 4,500 people, with nearly 9,200 cases of confirmed or suspected infection registered.
Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost all of the African countries excluding some northern Arab countries. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all lie under the low-income countries as outlined by the World Bank.