|EBOLA CRISIS: THE ECONOMIC IMPACT|
Aruba, November 7, 2014 - With more than 1,300 reported deaths from Ebola in West Africa, the virus continues to be an urgent health crisis, but it is also having a devastating impact on the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
"The economy has been deflated by 30% because of Ebola," Sierra Leone's Agriculture Minister Joseph Sam Sesay told the BBC.
He said President Ernest Bai Koroma revealed this staggering and depressing news to ministers at a special cabinet meeting. "The agricultural sector is the most impacted in terms of Ebola because the majority of the people of Sierra Leone - about 66% - are farmers," he said.
Twelve out of 13 districts in Sierra Leone are now affected by Ebola, although the epicentres are in the Eastern Province near the borders with Liberia and Guinea.
Road blocks manned by police and military are preventing the movement of farmers and labourers as well as the supply of goods. "We are definitely expecting a devastating effect not only on labour availability and capacity but we are also talking about farms being abandoned by people running away from the epicentres and going to areas that don't have the disease," Mr Sesay added.
Read more/ source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28865434