Study: Impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease
How is Ebola affecting rural communities in Sierra Leone?
(2014) A rapid assessment of the impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease on the livelihoods of rural communities, agricultural production and food security in the hardest hit regions of Sierra Leone.
The study reveals that the outbreak and spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone has a multitude of impacts on the livelihoods of rural communities, agricultural production and food security in the epicenters of the epidemic.
As trends indicate, the situation is likely to worsen in the course of the next months: Welthungerhilfe thus expects serious food shortages to hit the country in early 2015: As most households in rural areas depend on agriculture and grow their own food, the declining agricultural production and bad harvests might force many community members to source food from local markets or traders.
However, as food is not only becoming scarce, but also increasingly expensive most farmers will not have the means to finance their needs. Their access to financial institutions is limited. Many international traders have indeed left the country. As a result, more people will leave their villages and move to urban centers in search of a better life. International investments will not compensate for the loss of agricultural productivity and provide relief for the ailing economy.
In view of this situation it is necessary to start preparing for the large scale distribution of food aid, further strengthen the health system and establish an early-warning-system.
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