Photo: Corporal Paul Shaw/MOD
The impact of the Ebola outbreak on West Africa has been devastating for families, communities and public health systems already under severe strain. At the same time, the economic impact on the three main countries Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea has been crippling, with the World Bank estimating that they will suffer a combined $1.6 billion in economic losses in 2015 due to the ongoing outbreak. Unemployment rates are also expected to remain high, with cross-border traders, private-sector wage earners and the self-employed among the worst hit. Liberia’s growth forecast for 2015 has been cut in half and projected growth in Sierra Leone and Guinea for 2015 has shrunk to below zero. These countries all had healthy growth rates predicted for 2015 before the epidemic.
Whilst the focus of the response to ebola has inevitably been on putting in place the necessary resources for agencies and medical staff to treat and support those directly affected, the important role business can play is increasinly apparent. From ensuring investment and financing continues to flow, to making available product and service innovations that overcome logistical challenges and reaching employees, suppliers and customers with advice on how to stay safe, business can play an important supporting role.
This online discussion will explore how the private sector can best contribute in the wake of a major public health emergency and identify lessons learned for the future.
Key questions for the discussion are:
I am Cornelis Heesbeen of AUXFIN,
How can public-private collaboration enhance the impact of business’s contribution?
Almost everything i needed, but in my opinion in a region as affected as these 3 countries now there is the possibility to organize things in a good way.
We are asked by Guinea to organize an insurance but how to connect the rural families who are traumatic at this time, in the same time how to (re)structure the Rural Financial Infrastructure. We want to install our UMVA platform with free of charge financial services for all our members, including international transfers by migrants, and work on food security like we do in Burundi.
As a company with economical principles, my view and experience is that development organizations are very competitive and not really working together.