Socio-economic impact of Ebola in West Africa

11 Mar 2015
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West African nations that experienced low or zero incidence of Ebola have already been affected by the Ebola crisis because of their deep connections with the three most affected countries.
 

“The consequences of Ebola are vast,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa. “Stigma and risk aversion have caused considerable amounts of damage, shutting down borders and indirectly affecting the economies of a large number of countries in the sub-region”.
 

According to the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), West Africa as a whole may lose an average of at least US$3.6 billion per year between 2014 and 2017, due to a decrease in trade, closing of borders, flight cancellations and reduced Foreign Direct Investment and tourism activity, fuelled by stigma.
 

This has also had an important impact on human development. The region’s per capita income is expected to fall by US$18.00 per year between 2015 and 2017. In Côte d’Ivoire, the poverty rate has risen by at least 0.5 percentage points because of Ebola, while in Senegal, the proportion of people living below the national poverty line could increase by up to 1.8 percent in 2014. In addition, food insecurity in countries such as Mali, and Guinea-Bissau is expected to increase.