Via Reuters: Ebola causing huge damage to West Africa economies: development bank. Excerpt:
The worst ever Ebola outbreak is causing enormous damage to West African economies as foreign businessmen quit the region, the African Development Bank said, while a leading medical charity branded the international response "entirely inadequate".
As transport companies suspend services, cutting off the region, governments and economists have warned that the epidemic could crush the fragile economic gains made in Sierra Leone and Liberia following a decade of civil war in the 1990s.
At least 1,427 people have died of the deadly hemorrhagic virus since it was first detected in the remote jungles of southeast Guinea in March and spread quickly to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. Five people have also died in Nigeria.
Air France, the French network of Air France-KLM said on Wednesday it had suspended flights to Sierra Leone after advice from the French government.
African Development Bank (AfDB) chief Donald Kaberuka said on a visit to Sierra Leone he had seen estimates of a reduction of up to 4 percent in gross domestic product due to Ebola.
"Revenues are down, foreign exchange levels are down, markets are not functioning, airlines are not coming in, projects are being canceled, business people have left - that is very, very damaging," he told Reuters late on Tuesday.
Liberia has already said it would have to lower its 2014 growth forecast, without giving a new one.
Sierra Leone Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources Abdul Ignosis Koroma said the government would miss its target of exporting $200 million in diamonds this year because of the Ebola outbreak. It exported $186 million of diamonds in 2013.
He said miners were too afraid to go to alluvial diamonds pits in the Ebola-stricken east and tough border controls to curb the spread of the virus were also hurting the trade.