Ebola Impacts Almost 1 Million In West Africa Who Are Not Directly Exposed To The Virus
It doesn’t take a PhD in economics to appreciate that the countries of West Africa impacted most by Ebola are not able to prosper with that added weight. The effect of Ebola on the impoverished nations in the region will prove devastating to hundreds of thousands not directly impacted by Ebola if more help isn’t provided, according to Action Against Hunger CEO Andrea Tamburini.
He says, “Partly due to fear of contracting Ebola or being associated with the disease, residents of Sierra Leone have ceased seeking help for malnutrition. Action Against Hunger has identified a 66% decline in new admissions to Peripheral Health Units and a 90% decline to Stabilization Centers in Western Area from July through Sept. of 2014.”
To put a sense of scale to the discussion, he notes, “At least 700,000 people will join the more than 5 million people already at risk of food insecurity in Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. It’s likely that the number of people exposed to undernutrition will reach levels not seen for five or six years.”
According to Andrea, the problems that lead to the crisis are varied, but include, “A shortage of manpower due to movement restrictions related to the Ebola outbreak. Farmers have abandoned their crops as they seek refuge in locations considered less exposed to the virus.
Road blocks manned by police and military are preventing the movement of farmers and laborers as well as the supply of goods. Single mothers have been particularly hit hard, as they have to provide meals to their families by themselves.”
Another issue, he notes, “A spike in food costs occurred due to closure of many border posts. Formal trade has been severely hampered, reducing availability and driving up prices in most sectors, particularly food. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are grain-importing countries. Liberia, the country with the most people suffering from Ebola, is also the most dependent on external supplies.”
Action Against Hunger is working to address the problems, Andrea says:
“While the priority is to stop the epidemic, food plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the people in the Ebola impacted countries.
Track food security of those producers and importers of grain.
Provide food, farming and economic aid.
We and other aid organizations have assessed areas of Sierra Leone. Critical steps call to provide: Seeds and planting materials; a broad feeding program for children under five and pregnant mothers, and longer term, cash for work program to shore up the economy and marketplace.”
On Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 5:00 Eastern, Andrea will join me for a live discussion about his frantic effort to save lives in the Ebola-devastated regions of West Africa. Tune in here then to watch the interview live.
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More about Action Against Hunger:
Action Against Hunger is the world’s leading humanitarian organization saving the lives of malnourished children and advancing sustainable nutritional health in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world. Applying expertise honed in 35 years of fighting malnutrition, Action Against Hunger engages government and community stakeholders in developing replicable, affordable systems that save lives today and pave the way for their families’ healthier future. It advocates for worldwide focus on the defined goal of ending childhood death by malnutrition in our lifetime. Each year, more than 3 million children die from hunger-related causes – a staggering 45 percent of all child deaths globally. Action Against Hunger believes that the technical knowledge and resources are available to eradicate this tragic outcome, and towards that end is marshaling its own expertise with that of its network of influential forces in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
CEO, Action Against Hunger-USA
Andrea Tamburini, CEO of Action Against Hunger-USA, is a passionate humanitarian leading a mandate to make a measurable impact in reducing childhood malnutrition and creating lasting solutions to hunger.
In the seven countries where Action Against Hunger-USA operates, its teams assess and treat pediatric malnutrition; enable ongoing access of food, water and hygiene for vulnerable communities, and provide emergency response to countries in crisis. The global organization, ACF International, spans work in 46 countries. Tamburini serves on the ACF International Executive Committee.
To accomplish Action Against Hunger’s goals, Tamburini is taking a strategic approach to forging solutions with thought leaders from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. At the same time, he is driving continued on-the-ground excellence for which the organization is known.
On a global scale, Tamburini is utilizing the organization’s technical experts to advise the global nutrition cluster of the United Nations, research innovations in the labs of leading universities and visionary corporations, and partner with governments and communities to reverse unhealthy conditions and deliver life-saving services.
A dedicated professional who has served on the front lines of global humanitarian initiatives since 2000, Tamburini has consulted with the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and its Policy Development and Studies Branch. He has been a Visiting Professor and is a current lecturer with Fordham University’s International Institute of Humanitarian Affairs, a program which he helped to design.
He began his career in the humanitarian sector in Kosovo at the close of the conflict in the Balkans, with subsequent field post including India, the West Bank and Gaza, Iraq, Jordan, Darfur and Lebanon. Tamburini joined Action Against Hunger in 2010 as the Head of Programme for Pakistan and Nigeria, and was appointed Director of Operations in June 2011. He was appointed CEO in 2014.
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