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Ebola causing huge damage to West Africa economies - African Development Bank

Published on Aug 27, 2014 10:22 PM
 
African Development Bank president Donald Kaberuka (right) and World Health Organisation regional director for Africa Luis G. Sambo (left) exchange documents after agreeing on a donation of US$60 million (S$75 million) to fight the Ebola virus on August 26, 2014 in Abidjan. Ebola is causing enormous damage to West African economies, draining budgetary resources and slashing economic growth by up to 4 per cent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are cancelled, Mr Kaberuka said. -- PHOTO: AFP

FREETOWN (REUTERS) - Ebola is causing enormous damage to West African economies, draining budgetary resources and slashing economic growth by up to 4 per cent as foreign businessmen leave and projects are cancelled, the African Development Bank president said.

As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the worst outbreak of the hemorrhagic Ebola fever on record could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s.

Air France, the French network of Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it has suspended its flights to Sierra Leone following advice from the French government. France did not recommend suspending flights to Nigeria and Guinea.

"Revenues are down, foreign exchange levels are down, markets are not functioning, airlines are not coming in, projects are being cancelled, business people have left - that is very, very damaging," African Development Bank (AfDB) chief Donald Kaberuka said in an interview late on Tuesday. "The numbers I have had vary from 1 per cent to 4 per cent of GDP. That is a lot in a country with a GDP of US$6 billion (S$7.48 billion)," Mr Kaberuka said, when asked to quantify the impact.

 
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