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IMF: Ebola Takes Toll on West African Economies

  • VOA News

FILE - Pedestrians are reflected in the mirror of a street barber shop in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

FILE - Pedestrians are reflected in the mirror of a street barber shop in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Experts from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank say Ebola is hurting the economies of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

The IMF said Ebola is causing "dire" economic problems in parts of West Africa. The assessment came Tuesday as the global lender published an economic forecast for all of Sub-Saharan Africa that says economic growth in the continent's dozens of other nations may rise to 5.8 percent next year.

World Bank officials have said without a stronger effort to stop the disease, it could disrupt trade, tourism, and travel, cutting billions of dollars worth of economic activity from already-fragile economies in the worst-affected nations.

About 3,500 people have been killed by the Ebola virus, and thousands more have been sickened.

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