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Ebola in Liberia: Impact on Food Security and Livelihoods

May 6 2015

The Ebola crisis has put the livelihoods and food security of the Liberian population under insurmountable stress. Already now, an estimated 300,000 people in Liberia are severely food insecure because of the impact of Ebola. As infection rates continue to decline in Liberia and awareness of the impacts of the Ebola crisis on food security and livelihoods increases - particularly in regards to petty trading, wage labour and agriculture - it is vital that stakeholders turn attention towards what Liberians may be facing in the aftermath of the crisis. 

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The 2014 outbreak of Ebola has affected nearly the whole West Africa region, slowing down the recently growing momentum of the region’s economic prospects. It has become increasingly clear that the impact of Ebola goes well beyond health and that livelihoods have been, and will continue to be, affected for many months to come.

However, the largest economic effects of the Ebola crisis in Liberia have not been direct costs related to mortality, morbidity, caregiving, and the associated losses in working days, but those resulting from changes in behaviour, either as part of government-imposed aversion measures or driven by fear. These adopted behaviours have resulted in a pervasive drop in employment, income, and demand for goods and services. 

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