Elsewhere online
January 07, 2015

Aid Groups Say Ebola Undermining Years of West Africa Work

The Ebola outbreak threatens to undo a decade of health, education, and economic-development gains in Sierra Leone and Liberia as long-active charities pull out of the countries or redirect resources to battling the disease, Reuters writes.

The West African nations hardest hit by the epidemic have experienced quickening economic growth since brutal civil wars ended in the early 2000s and had hoped to reduce their dependence on foreign aid. But Ebola has brought development activity to a standstill, with schools closing and agricultural and industrial projects disrupted.

"The impact of Ebola will take us completely back to [Sierra Leone] being a basket case," said Rocco Falconer, chief executive of Planting Promise, an education charity that has withdrawn foreign staff, shut down schools, and closed a food-processing plant as the virus has spread.