Date
14 December 2017
A man is carried away to be tested for Ebola after collapsing on a street in Monrovia on December 9. The death toll from the outbreak in West Africa has crossed 6,300 in the three worst hit countries. Photo: Reuters
A man is carried away to be tested for Ebola after collapsing on a street in Monrovia on December 9. The death toll from the outbreak in West Africa has crossed 6,300 in the three worst hit countries. Photo: Reuters

UN urges debt relief for Ebola-hit countries

A UN commission has recommended that creditors should seriously consider debt cancellation for the countries worst-hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

“Educational systems, rising social stigma, unemployment, and decreased food security are some of the big issues that Ebola-affected countries must deal with,” the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said in a study.

Bilateral and multilateral creditors should “seriously consider” debt cancellation for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone because the countries “will find it highly burdensome to meet their international debt obligations”, the commission said.

The report also raised the alarm on the risk of a rise in mortality from diseases not related to Ebola and points out the wider impacts of the virus on the livelihoods of those affected.

“It is critical for the international community to join forces to address the multidimensional nature of the Ebola outbreak that threatens millions of the poorest and the most vulnerable,” said Martin Sajdik, president of the UN Economic and Social Council.

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CG/RC

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