Ebola and the Western African Economy

Posted: May 21, 2015 in Business, Media

When the deadly Ebola virus took root in Western Africa, no one could have predicted the outcome. Not only have tens of thousands of people been infected with the disease, but thousands have lost their lives. However, the loss of life isn’t the only thing this deadly disease seems to be taking from the West African countries; it is also causing havoc with the local economies. With bans on international flights, and a general weariness of travelers to enter into areas that are close to the Ebola hotspots, the local economies are beginning to suffer.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, the hardest hit countries, there is an impending food crisis since a majority of the countries farmers have abandoned their farms and the revenue from the food production at these farms has essentially ceased. The Famine Early Warning Systems has also warned, “that the spread of the virus would lead to food insecurities within the region,” sending the local economies into crisis.

Local economies are also looking at losing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue from local entertainment events that have either been moved out of the region or canceled altogether. With this epidemic moving free from geographical limitations, there is a sense of a common predicament amongst the larger global community as a whole. Most West Africans have become aware of the economic consequences that have come from being at the center of the global health disaster. Senol Taskin has been watching the crisis unfold. A financial reporter, Senol has focused his career of 20 plus years on the economy of Africa.


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