World Bank analysts estimate that if the disease is not contained shortly, problems with food shortages, panic buying and speculation will continue to wrack the already-fragile economies of the affected countries.
Local governments, foreign states and international organizations have already spent millions of dollars and will require billions to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. But these numbers are small in comparison to the economic slowdown expected for Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia as commerce grinds to a halt while increasing uneasiness begins to affect the markets.
For example, in the short term, World Bank analysts expect Ebola to cost Liberia roughly $93 million, about 4.7 percent of its entire gross domestic product. By 2015 this could increase to $228 million if the outbreak isn’t stopped soon. They also predict that the country’s economic growth could be reduced from 6.8 percent to -4.9 percent.