Socio-economic impacts of Ebola "far reaching" in Liberia and Sierra Leone

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An Ebola health worker cleaning his boots at the Magbenteh Ebola Treatment Centre in Makeni, Sierra Leone. UN Photo/Martine Perret

The socio-economic impacts of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone are "far-reaching and persistent", according to two new World Bank reports.

The reports, issued on Monday, are based on the data collected by mobile phone surveys.

They show that the impacts of Ebola in these countries have not been limited to the areas with the highest infections.

UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq has more.

"In Liberia, the economy continues to shed jobs faster than they are replaced, with nearly half of Liberian household heads remaining out of work. Women are particularly vulnerable as the labor market stagnates and there are new concerns about the farmers' ability to organize work teams given Ebola fears. In Sierra Leone, the World Bank Group report found that wage and non-farm self-employed workers saw the largest declines in employment in urban areas. An estimated 9,000 wage workers and 170,000 self-employed workers outside of agriculture are no longer working since July/August 2014." (31")

Food insecurity is also high in Sierra Leone.

And there is some evidence that people with health conditions other than Ebola are not using health services in the capital Freetown.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the total number of people facing food insecurity due to Ebola could top one million by March unless access to food is drastically improved.

In December last year WFP distributed food to more than 720,000 people across the three main Ebola-affected countries.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration:  1’34″


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