Responding to the economic threat posed by the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

Statement by the International Growth Centre from Rachel Glennerster (Lead Academic, IGC Sierra Leone), Jonathan Leape (Executive Director, IGC), Herbert M’cLeod (Country Director, IGC Sierra Leone) and Tavneet Suri (MIT).

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has generated global alarm, but while the policy response has, so far, rightly focused on the public health challenge, attention is now turning to the economic consequences which may add further to the damage caused by the disease itself.

The Government of Sierra Leone and its development partners must have valid, credible data and analysis to ensure that their policy responses are evidence-based and that corrective actions are effective and well targeted.

The International Growth Centre (IGC), as part of its mission to bring world-leading economic researchers to work in partnership with policymakers in Asia and Africa, is committed to providing the Government of Sierra Leone with accurate, timely evidence to support the development of effective policy responses.

As a first step, the IGC and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) are activating an existing, phone-based food-price-monitoring system to provide rapid feedback to the government on areas of critical need. We hope to present the first round of this monitoring to the government next week. We plan to supplement this with rapid, additional phone-based surveys to provide further information on the economic impact of Ebola over the coming weeks.

Please read the full statement and a press release in the downloads to the right.

To contact the authors and the IGC on this issue, please email Charlie Haines (