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Ebola appeal grows as unemployment hits Liberia

WASHINGTON, DC: The World Bank says half the working population of Liberia has become unemployed since the Ebola crisis began. As of November 22, a total of 15,145 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the virus have been reported in eight countries. There have been 5,470 reported deaths.

According to a survey by the Gallup Organization in conjunction with the Liberian Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, the self-employed in Liberia have been the hardest hit, in large part due to the closure of markets where they operate. Before the crisis, over 30 percent of working household heads were self-employed - now it is just above 10 percent.

russia field hospital to guineaOverall, only about 36 percent of previously self-employed workers outside of agriculture and about half of those originally engaged in wage labor are still working since the crisis unfolded. After an initial downturn, the agricultural sector is showing the most resilience says the World Bank.

"Even those living in the most remote communities in Liberia, where Ebola has not been detected, are suffering the economic side effects of this terrible disease," said Ana Revenga, senior director of the Poverty Global Practice at the World Bank Group. "Relief efforts must focus not only on those directly affected by the virus, but also on those in the poorest communities for whom market access, mobility, and food security continue to get worse."

According to Russia's official news agency TASS, on November 16 two AN-124s from the country's Defense Ministry flew 150 tonnes of medical equipment, including a complete field hospital (right), from Sochi to Conakry, Guinea. The hospital includes three disinfection shower cabins, a distillation station, blood testers, four mobile generators, specialized field kitchens, a mechanized laundry plus medical supplies and infusion solutions.

Russia Defense Ministry spokesman major general Igor Konashenkov said the hospital could isolate and treat 200 people simultaneously during an entire quarantine period.

Karl Doorman 2Meanwhile the U.S. Air Force reports the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group has successfully completed its Ebola mission after processing more than 188 flights and 750 tons of relief supplies for delivery to Liberia.

The cargo that first arrived in Senegal on chartered B747s,  Air Force C-17s and KC-10 Extenders, included tents, latex gloves, human blood, stretchers, electric generators, and food and water. The National Guard then transshipped everything to military C-130s for final delivery in Liberia. The U.S. Department of Defense has deployed nearly 4,000 personnel to build multiple Ebola treatment facilities in Liberia, staff medical laboratories and train local health-care workers.

The U.N. Ebola mission says an additional 370 tonnes were flown on 14 flights over one week in November (including five from from Accra) carrying vehicles and humanitarian supplies while by mid-November its flight program had carried over 2,300 passengers from 59 aid organizations.

On November 19, the the Royal Netherlands Navy transport ship Karel Doorman (left) arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver a ship load of aid from Holland and several other European countries including Finland, Austria, Belgium and the UK.

The U.N. says it has received US$699 million out of a total US$1.5 billion needed for its Ebola appeal.

  • Freightweek, which first reported on the logistics industry involvement back in July when Danish shipowner J. Lauritzen announced its support for first responder Médecins Sans Frontier (MSF), will donate a net 10 percent to MSF from any new advertising booked in the December and January editions of its monthly magazine. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

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