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Ebola: Economic Impact Already Serious; Could Be “Catastrophic”

September 17, 2014

A World Bank Group analysis of the Ebola epidemic released today finds that, beyond the terrible toll in human suffering, the continuing surge in the deadly virus in the three worst-affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone –could deal a potentially catastrophic economic blow to the already fragile states. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says that the largest economic effects of the crisis are not as a result of the direct costs (mortality, morbidity, caregiving, and the associated losses to working days) but rather those resulting from aversion behavior driven by fear of contagion. The analysis finds that economic costs can be limited if swift national and international responses succeed in containing the epidemic.