"Crippling" economic impact of Ebola on West Africa

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Conakry, Guinea. World Bank@PHOTO

The Ebola epidemic will continue to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone even as transmission rates show significant signs of slowing.

That's according to a new World Bank Group analysis published on Tuesday.

The World Bank estimates that the three most-affected countries will lose at least US$1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015.

Francisco Ferreira, a chief economist at the Bank, says the economic impact is very severe in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

For 2015, compared to the pre-Ebola base line estimates, these countries are going to grow by 12 per cent of GDP less than they would otherwise have grown. These 12 per cent of their combined GDP is equivalent to around 1.6 billion dollars of foregone output and foregone incomes in those three countries. (0'21")

But the report also contains more positive news.

It says that the economic costs beyond the three countries are now much lower than previously feared thanks to the global response over the past months.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said one major lesson from the Ebola outbreak is for the world to respond much more quickly to epidemics.

Close to 8500 people have died from Ebola in West Africa since the beginning of the outbreak.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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