The World Bank says return to work continues in Liberia, led by gains for wage workers and the rural self-employed, but the picture remains mixed in neighboring Sierra Leone, where urban youth and the non-farm self-employed continue to lag behind.
A press release issued in Monrovia Wednesday says the finding comes from latest round of high-frequency mobile-phone surveys conducted in both countries by the World Bank Group and partners to assess how Ebola is impacting people’s livelihoods in the two affected nations.
“This comes as heads of state from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea prepare to meet in Washington, DC at the World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings to share their Ebola recovery plans with finance and development ministers and international partners”, the release said.
It added that ss Liberia approaches zero cases, and Sierra Leone sees promising declines in infection rates in recent weeks, it will be important to understand where economic recovery efforts should be targeted, and which people within each country need the most attention both now and once the health crisis has fully abated.
“Liberia has made great progress in its fight against Ebola and I have great hope that all affected countries will get to and maintain zero cases,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for the Africa Region.
“Even as these countries implement their respective economic recovery plans”, he said, “the long-term economic and social impacts of such a prolonged and devastating outbreak will undoubtedly put many families and communities at risk. We and our partners must continue to respond quickly and effectively to support those who need it most.”
Statistics Sierra Leone has led the national data collection in that country, with support from the World Bank Group and Innovations for Poverty Action. In Liberia, the World Bank Group has worked closely with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and the Gallup Organization to conduct these mobile-phone surveys.