Ebola destroying economic development

Sierra Leone: Ebola destroying economic development

"Agricultural production must be stimulated again as quickly as possible"

(16/10/2014) Necessary measures for preventing the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone have a huge impact on the economic development of the country. “Investors shorten or postpone planned investments, foreign companies pull out of the country”, says Wolfgang Jamann, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe, “the region is becoming increasingly isolated from international markets and state measures for the containment of the disease are affecting trade.”

Woman in Moyamba Junction, which has been put under quarantine. © Pilar
Woman in Moyamba Junction, which has been put under quarantine. © Pilar
Welthungerhilfe distributes foods in Kenema. Since the inhaibtants of some houses are infected with the Ebola virus, 26 buildings have been put under quarantine. © Pilar
Welthungerhilfe distributes foods in Kenema. Since the inhaibtants of some houses are infected with the Ebola virus, 26 buildings have been put under quarantine. © Pilar

Weekly cement sales in the construction industry have fallen by 60% since January. Bars, restaurants and many markets are currently closed. Since the outbreak of the crisis, the average occupancy rates in hotels have sunk from over 60% to 13%. The number of passengers arriving at the Freetown international airport has fallen from more than 6,000 in January to 2,000 in August 2014.

In Sierra Leone, 7,000 schools are currently closed. 1.6 million school children are affected by this. Many students therefore lose their access to school meals. Food prices are rising drastically. Between March and August 2014, the price of fish increased by 40%, cassava by 50%, palm oil by more than 20% and rice by 13%.

“Agricultural production must be stimulated again as quickly as possible: a speedy lifting of non-essential restrictions would counteract the prevaling labour shortage and encourage small farmers to cultivate their fields. Tailor-made support programmes must strengthen the self-help capacity of the rural population”, says Jamann.

An up-to-date summary of the impact of Ebola can be found at www.welthungerhilfe.de/en/ebola

Report: The non-medical impacts of the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone

 

Welthungerhilfe is one of the biggest private aid organisations in Germany. It provides aid from one source: from fast emergency aid and reconstruction to long-term development cooperation projects with local partner organisations, based on the principle of helping people to help themselves. Since its foundation in 1962, more than 7,350 projects in 70 countries have been supported with 2.66 billion Euro – for a world without hunger or poverty.

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