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Ebola Financial Burden Grows

Guinea's health workers wearing protective suits join members of the Medecins sans frontieres Ebola treatement center near the main Donka hospital in Conakry on Sept. 25, 2014. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon created the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) last week and named American Anthony Banbury as head of the team, which will be headquartered in Accra. AFP PHOTO / CELLOU BINANI

Besides the human cost, the Ebola epidemic is rapidly draining national budgets in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The U.N. Development Program said the crisis has caused a slowdown in tourism, mining and trade.

The UNDP described the ebola outbreak as “one of the most complex developmental challenges in recent times…imposing a serious stress on the fiscal capacity of governments.”

Its new report says expenses in the three worst-affected countries have risen by 30-percent – and that governments are not able to operate at pre-crisis levels because of a nearly $330-million budget shortfall. What’s more, they could become more dependent on international aid as both domestic and foreign debt grows.

Nicholas Douillet, spokesman for the U.N. Development Program, spoke with VOA’s Joe De Capua about the economic impact of ebola. Click on the libnk below to listen to the full interview.

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