Ebola-hit nations at risk of hunger – UN

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme, WFP,on Wednesday, said the Ebola Virus Disease and the resulting restrictions has“caused a significant shock to the food and agriculture sectors in the affected countries.”

The UN food agencies also revealed that close to one million people are at risk of going hungry in West African nations battling the Ebola virus due to border closures, quarantines and crop losses.

The deadly hemorrhagic fever that has killed 6,800 people has severely disrupted daily life in the worst hit nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Guinea and Sierra Leone have even gone as far as to ban Christmas celebrations.

“The loss of productivity and household income due to Ebola-related deaths and illness as well as people staying away from work, for fear of infection, is compounding an economic slowdown in the three countries,” the agencies said in a joint statement.

Restrictions put in place to curb the disease were also “seriously hindering people’s access to food, threatening their livelihoods, disrupting food markets and processing chains, and exacerbating shortages stemming from crop losses.”

Denise Brown, WFP Emergency Response Coordinator said,“The virus is having a terrible impact on the three worst-hit countries and will continue to affect many people’s access to food for the foreseeable future. While working with partners to make things better, we must be prepared for them to get worse,” she said.

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