Economy

The World Bank trims its projection of the impact of Ebola on Africa to $3-4 billion

Johannesburg (INA) - The World Bank's chief economist said on Wednesday that the bank now expects the impact of the Ebola epidemic on the economy of sub-Saharan African countries to be between $32 billion and $32 billion, down significantly from its previously announced worst-case scenario of $14 billion. dollar. Francisco Ferreira said in Johannesburg that successful containment of Ebola in some countries in West Africa had reduced the likelihood of worst-case scenarios, but the economic damage could mount if there was any complacency. "The risks of the most severe economic impact of Ebola have been reduced thanks to the success of containment efforts in some countries. The risks have not completely disappeared because a massive level of preparedness and focus is still needed," he said. He added, "I see that expectations have moved towards the lowest possibilities at three to four billion dollars, away from the worst-case scenario ($5177 billion)." Ferreira added that despite this, the Ebola crisis undermined tourism in Africa due to the fear factor that made visitors reluctant to come even to countries where there were no cases of the virus, such as Kenya and South Africa. In a report issued in October on the potential economic impact of Ebola, the World Bank said that if the epidemic spreads significantly outside the countries that constitute the epicenter of infection, namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, it could cost Africa tens of billions of dollars because of the damage to cross-border trade, supply chains and tourism. . The bank said a large-scale global response was needed to prevent the worst. Since then, the United Nations has led an international effort to send more medical staff to the Ebola outbreak zone and increase funding for the worst outbreak of the deadly virus. The latest WHO census, on November 14, showed that 133 people had died out of 30 cases, most of them in the three worst-affected countries. Ferreira pointed out that the decline in global oil prices by more than XNUMX percent from June is a major source of concern for financial stability in African oil-producing countries, in particular Nigeria, the largest exporter of crude on the continent. (I finish)

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