Via ReliefWeb, a report from the World Food Programme: West and Central Africa - Markets Update: Special Issue on the Ebola Outbreak, August 2014. Click through to download the PDF. The highlights:
• As of August 21, all land borders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been closed or the movement of goods and people has been restricted, with the sole exception being the border between Guinea and Mali;
• Cameroon and Chad have closed their respective borders with Nigeria;
• Nearly all airline companies have suspended flights to the three countries;
• Poor road conditions are exacerbated during the rainy season, leading to higher transportation costs and longer delivery time;
• In some parts of the countries the harvest season has just started (e.g. Liberia and Guinea). The exact levels of harvest remain to be assessed;
• Food price volatility is common in these countries.
Key statements as of 26 August 2014:
• Guinea: Border closure measures (Senegal/Guinea) seem to significantly increase food prices in the Labe market. The full extent of Ebola on food prices remains unclear and will continue to be closely monitored and analysed;
• Liberia: The official announcement of the Ebola outbreak in March 2014 did not seem to affect the price of imported rice at first. However, the deteriorating situation is a likely contributor to the increase in food prices observed since July 2014. The current analysis suggests that the increase in rice prices is due in part i) to the devaluation of the Liberian Dollar, ii) a general increase of international rice prices and iii) movement restrictions in certain parts of Liberia.
• Sierra Leone: Similar to Liberia, it seems that the geographic spread of Ebola has led to a price increase of imported and local rice since July. As of 25 August 2014, data on food prices is extremely limited to enable a reliable price analysis.
• Regional: The situation in Nigeria will continue to be closely monitored.