The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa is advising international creditors to cancel debts for West African countries hit hardest by Ebola. The three worst affected nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, are still struggling to cope with the outbreak and are facing crippling monetary losses.
CCTV America’s Stephanie Freid reported this story from Z’ao Village, N’Zerekorre in Guinea.
Almost three quarters of the population in Z’ao Village lives in rural areas, where 75 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in the agriculture sector farming bananas, rice, coffee and palm seed. But since Guinea fell into the grip of Ebola in March, the entire industry is in decline.
Borders are literally closed, farmers and employees fearing infection have abandoned farms, and export markets aren’t accepting products they suspect may be tainted.
According to the World Bank, Ebola will likely deal a catastrophic blow to the economy in 2014, with combined predicted GDP losses for Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, totaling $365 million.
For farmers like Emone who runs a palm seed oil production plantation, the ongoing impact of Ebola is daunting. Most of his workforce has abandoned him, sales
figures are down by half over last year, and barrels of are oil not moving to market. At this points Emone said they rely on faith.
“We pray to God that the Ebola will end. It is very very bad for all of us Guineans,” Emone said.
The World Bank advises that all three countries need to come together to reverse aversion behavior or the economic loss may hit more than $800 million by 2015.