In an effort to collect timely and robust data on the impacts of Ebola, the Government of Sierra Leone, with support from the World Bank Group and in partnership with Innovations for Poverty Action, is conducting mobile phone surveys with the aim of capturing the key socio-economic effects of the virus. Since the proportion of the population that has been infected is small, the largest impacts on household welfare are expected to result from indirect effects of measures taken to restrict disease spread, and the general disruption to the economy caused by the outbreak.
of June 7, 2015, Sierra Leone had reported more than 12,900 cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), and over 3,900 deaths since the outbreak began. In recent months, substantial progress has been made, with a maximum of 15 new cases per week reported following a nationwide lockdown and information campaign at the end of March.
Round Three Results (May 2015)
The survey contacted a sample of 1,715 households during May, 2015, which represents 41 percent of the 4,199 households covered in the baseline, nationally-representative Labor Force Survey conducted in July and August 2014.
The economy continues to improve, but has yet to fully recover. Employment rates—including for the self-employed and youth in Freetown-- is returning to pre-Ebola outbreak levels. However, the hours that people work are still below baseline levels, especially in rural areas. Also, many households lack capital to reopen their business and non-farm household enterprises—nearly 1/3 of the country’s workforce—report lower revenues than before the Ebola crisis
Agriculture is showing signs of improvement. The 2014 harvest, completed between February and May 2014, was comparable to previous yields. Sales and hiring of seasonal labor indicate that rural commodity and temporary labor markets are returning to normal.