With more than 4950 deaths across West Africa, virus infected travel cases in Mali, Senegal, United States; mayhem caused by Ebola virus outbreak to normal life is massive and with no vaccine to cure it looks like the situation is only going to get worse. The loss of human life is inevitable however the economic downslide due to Ebola virus outbreak in the world’s poorest countries is looking like to bring a complete Halt to expected growth of West African nations.
The virus has lowered the chances
of countries like Liberia to rise from years of poverty and grow like other African nations. Critical public workers which were bringing hopes of electricity across Liberia have come to a complete halt. Economists are being called on to front to estimate the economic loss of Ebola in West African nations, however with the spread continuous and with no clear indicatives of where the virus is heading to economists are having a tough time estimating the figures. In a recent report World Bank estimates a loss of 3% GDP of West African nations (i.e. Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia). On a whole the economy is said to take a hit between US $ 2-6 Million. All the figures quoted are from economic angels and have not taken into account the human losses. Ebola is making a deep impact into the literacy level of the African nations. With years of civil war and at the time when the education systems of the nation were on a rise schools and colleges have come down on to a complete halt. With ban on public gatherings, people with resources to fund the education of their kids are also not able to educate their kids. The outbreak will slow down the progress of children’s already enrolled in educational courses for indefinite time till the virus situation comes to normalcy. Looking at it from a student’s point of view a year or two of crucial time is lost; kids will move way back as compared to their international competitors and those who were to start the education path will have to delay there start by the time outbreak situation comes to normal.
With manufacturing units closed and people under quarantine production and sales in major industries have slowed. Food supplies have dried; distribution units at minimal power have led to an upsurge in prices of general commodities. With suspension of international flights and investors evacuating foreign workers the revenue from aviation and manufacturing sector has seen exponential dip. The risk of outspread has further sparked tension in investors as no one is willing to risk foreign staffers or permit a foreign travel from West African nations.
The estimated outbreak cost does not take into account the loss of human life, schooling, and damage to the health systems and health care workers to add on we also cannot count how many overseas staffers will wish to travel to West Africa in near future.
The situation in West Africa is such that the economic impact when turns from massive to catastrophic nobody can predict.