World Bank Trims Estimates of Economic Damage of the Ebola Epidemic

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on Jan 21 2015 9:30 AM

 World Bank Trims Estimates of Economic Damage of the Ebola Epidemic
Last October the World Bank estimated that the Ebola epidemic would result in $25 billion economic losses across all of West Africa. However, with Ebola now broadly contained, the World Bank trimmed its estimates of economic damage of the Ebola epidemic to $6.2 billion. But, warned that the three main affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone would still bear a heavy cost.
For these three countries, where most of the infections and deaths have been recorded, the losses could hit $1.6 billion this year, less than the previous $2 billion warning given by the Bank. The World Bank said, "However, the epidemic will continue to cripple the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone even as transmission rates in the three countries show significant signs of slowing."

The Bank credited actions of policymakers and aid workers to stem the Ebola spread, lowering the risk that it would spread across the borders from the three hard-hit countries. The Bank said, "The lower estimates also reflect fast and effective containment measures taken in the neighboring countries of Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, all of which have now been declared Ebola-free."

The Bank estimated that the impact on the whole region could be as low as $500 million. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said, "As welcome as these latest signs are, we cannot afford to be complacent. Until we have zero new Ebola cases, the risk of continued severe economic impact to the three countries and beyond remains unacceptably high."