Ebola crisis threatens West African food security - CNBC Africa

Ebola crisis threatens West African food security

Western Africa

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Ebola threatens West African food security. PHOTO: deviantart

The Ebola crisis in West Africa has caused more than 4,000 casualties and continues to damage the region. The countries most affected by the epidemic now face a major food crisis.

“While the countries hardest hit by the Ebola crisis struggle to contain the devastating virus, they now face a new challenge with experts predicting that over a million people in the region need food aid to allay shortages,” Hilal Elver, a United Nations reporter.

(READ MORE: Ebola shrinks West Africa’s poorest economies)

The crisis has affected many farms in the region causing many farmers to abandon their land. The disturbance in the food production has caused a spike in food prices. Elver reported that crops such as rice and maize will be cut down due to the lack of skilled farm labourers working.

“The closure of border and sea crossings, a reduction in regional trade, along with a decline in foreign investment, and diminished purchasing power of tens of thousands of already vulnerable households, leaves these countries in a precarious situation,” she said.

(READ MORE: AU calls for private sector to join the fight against Ebola)

Elver also noted that poor road accessibility is another reason for the food shortages.

“Others have been threatening to evade quarantine because of lack of food supplies,” she said.  

Elver has made a plea to the global community to assist with reducing the food shortages in the region as well as mending infrastructure to make sure food reaches various communities.