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How can West Africa rebuild after Ebola?

Monday, March 02, 2015 - 01:49

How best to rebuild the three West African countries struggling with Ebola will be discussed in Brussels this week. As Hayley Platt reports Sierra Leone has the toughest job ahead - its once thriving economy has been ravaged by the disease.

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More than 9,500 people in West Africa have died from Ebola - 23,000 more have been infected. Sierra Leone has been worst hit. And although infection rates are now slowing the economy is still reeling. The World Bank forecasts the country's $5 billion GDP will contract 2.5 percent this year. That's from a position of 11 percent growth in 2013. The Kona hotel is a perfect example. The once bustling business now stands idle. Ernest Ndominah is the hotel's chief executive. SOUNDBITE: ERNEST NDOMINAH, CEO OF KONA LODGE HOTEL SAYING (ENGLISH): "We have been unable to pay our staff for the past four or five months, so we've laid off some and just keep on a skeleton team. We have been unable to pay our loans on time and the banks are now after us" It's an all too familiar story. Before the outbreak beaches were packed. Now there are no visitors. Christopher Sway runs a beach side guest house. SOUNDBITE: CHRISTOPHER SWARAY, MANAGER FOR NJALA VENUE SAYING (ENGLISH): "Business are dying because people are not coming to patronise our business - there is no hope left for us " Individuals are suffering economically as well as emotionally too. Isha and her younger brothers lost their parents to Ebola. SOUNDBITE: ISHA DUMBUYA , EBOLA SURVIVOR SAYING (KRIO): "My mother and father were the bread winners, they took care of us. Since they died life has been so miserable for me. I have no job and there is nothing in the house." Pharmaceutical companies have been working on a vaccine. But there's no immediate cure for the economy. It's likely to be many months before Sierra Leone can recover from the virus' impact.

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How can West Africa rebuild after Ebola?

Monday, March 02, 2015 - 01:49