The macro economic impact of the ebola virus disease

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The macro-economic impact of the Ebola virus disease A Malian woman packaging mangoes for export. The Malian economy has felt the impact of the Ebola crisis. Photo by UNDP/Mali
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37 3. The macro-economic impact of the Ebola virus disease 3.1. Overview of relevant pandemic modelling approaches With the deadly spread of the EVD, the global interest in the disease has increased since 2014. While it is understood that most of the focus is on public health systems, it is instrumental to think about what the affected countries will do to recover after the epidemic is contained. Hence, the analysis of the macro-economic impact becomes the next step. However, such an estimation is not an easy task. Few studies have assumed the economic impact of pandemics such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), influenza, malaria or HIV/AIDS. Kennedy, Thomson and Vujanovic (2006) assessed the macro-economic effects of an influenza pandemic of the Australian economy using the Treasury Macro-economic (TRYM) model. The scenario modelled in their study is of a nationwide outbreak of a highly contagious influenza virus with a mortality rate of 0.2 per cent of the population, or 40,000 deaths nationwide. The model allowed the estimation of the growth rate at the national level for only the first year. Cuddington and Hancock (1993a and b) used a modified Solow Growth Model to stimulate the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the growth path of the Malawian economy. They found a 0.2-0.3 decrease of GDP growth over the 1985-2010 period. The high death rate and the contamination speed have elicited several evidence-based studies on the EVD in West Africa. In 2014, there were four major contributions to the assessment of the macro-economic impact of the EVD in West Africa (World Bank, 2014; UNECA, 2014; and UNDP-RBA, 2014a and 2015). 26 In October 2014, World Bank published a study on the economic impact of the 2014 EVD. Using a dynamic computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for Liberia, the study provided a medium-term estimation of the impacts of the EVD in growth rates. For Guinea and Sierra Leone that have no computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, the World Bank study used available data to estimate the change in projected growth rates by sector in order to calculate the updated change in the growth rate. To estimate the impact for the West African region, this study used CGE modelling, more specifically the LINKAGE model, which draws on the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database of economic transactions within and across economies for 2013. In December 2014, UNECA published a comprehensive study on the impacts of the EVD on the economies of the three affected countries (UNECA, 2014). The study used four approaches for this assessment: (i) a descriptive quantitative analysis; (ii) a survey on non-affected countries’ preparedness and on indirect effects of the EVD; (iii) an analysis of the continental impact of the EVD; and (iv) a perceptions analysis by statistical text mining. Based on these methodologies, UNECA study found impacts of the EVD in various sectors on the countries’ economies. This
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