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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR

AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL


TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN
EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

Chair: Natalia Hermida, Co-Chair: Elisavet Dravalou

Rotaract Global Model United Nations; Belgrade 26 30 August, 2015


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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

Honorable Delegates,

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the GA second committee, the Economic


and Social Council of Rotaract Global Model United Nations Conference.
We are Natalia Hermida and Elisavet Dravalou and will serve you as your
chairs. We will do our best to make this conference an outstanding and
challenging experience.
We know that you are on the lookout for this activity. Each one of you has a
key role in the development of the committee; therefore, it is vital that your
research is accurate and you have the knowledge and capacity in order to
support your arguments and propose viable solutions.
During the session, we will be discussing two subjects:
A. The Economic and Social Impact of Ebola on the Affected Countries
and Solutions for an Efficient and Multi-Sectoral Response.
B. Securing and Attaining Sustainable Water Management.
This study guide will be the starting point for you to get familiar with the topics
and their different dimensions. We encourage you to go further and get
prepared by gathering as much information as possible in order to make this
debate a challenging one.
We are confident that this conference will contribute to your academic
development but beyond that, with wonderful memories, friends for life and
courage to Be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
We are looking forward to meeting you, if you have any questions during the
research, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely yours,
Natalia and Elisavet
Rotaract Global Model United Nations; Belgrade 26 30 August, 2015
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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

WHAT IS EBOLA & HISTORY

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EBOLA

SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA

UN RESPONSE

QARMAS (QUESTIONS A RESOLUTION MUST ANSWER)

10

CONCLUSION

11

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING

12

Rotaract Global Model United Nations; Belgrade 26 30 August, 2015


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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

Topic Area A: The Economic and Social Impact of Ebola on


the Affected Countries and Solutions for an Efficient and
Multi-Sectoral Response.

INTRODUCTION
On the dawn of 2014, Western Africa came face to face with an
unprecedented outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), an outbreak that was
about to become the most fatal one in the history, causing over 1000 deaths
in the three most affected countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia).1
This outbreak took rapidly epidemic dimensions and was very difficult to be
controlled. Extreme poverty, a dysfunctional healthcare system, a mistrust of
government officials after years of armed conflict, and the delay in responding
to the outbreak for several months have all contributed to the failure to control
the epidemic.
Unfortunately, the epidemic has reduced the rate of growth achieved since
the restoration of peace and democracy in the three most-affected countries
and its social and economic impacts are estimated to take 5-10 years to
overcome.2

!
Photo source: https://gmggranger.wordpress.com/tag/ebola/

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6325a4.htm?s_cid=mm6325a4_w

2http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis%20Report

%2023Dec2014.pdf

Rotaract Global Model United Nations; Belgrade 26 30 August, 2015


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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

What Is Ebola?
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is
a severe, often fatal illness in humans.3It may be transmitted to people from
wild animals is spread in the human population through human-to-human
transmission. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First
symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and
sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of
impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and
external bleeding. The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case
fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.

History
The first EVD outbreaks occurred in 1976 in remote villages in Central Africa,
near tropical rainforests, however the current outbreak in West Africa, (with
the first cases being notified in March 2014), is the largest Ebola outbreak
since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more
cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined.4 As of July 2015,
there is no medication which has been proven in large trials to be safe and
effective in treating Ebola patients. By the time of the Ebola virus epidemic in
West Africa which began in 2013, there were at least nine different candidate
treatments. Several trials were conducted in late 2014 and early 2015, but
some were abandoned due to lack of efficacy or lack of patients as the
infection rate slowed. Many Ebola vaccine candidates had been developed in
the decade prior to 2014, but as of November 2014, none had yet been
approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for clinical use
in humans.5

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-therapies-consultation/
en/
http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1899514
http://www.who.int/medicines/emp_ebola_section/en/

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EBOLA

!
Photo source: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/publication/socioeconomic-impacts-ebola-liberia

In an effort to measure the economic impact of Ebola on Liberian households,


the World Bank, with the Liberian Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information
Services and the Gallup Organization, conducted five rounds of mobile-phone
surveys, in October, November, December 2014 and January and March
2015. The results showed that employment has been significantly affected,
most importantly women (typically self-employed in those regions, usually
traders or in markets- jobs that have been most impacted).
In order to avoid further spread of the disease, the governments of three
most affected countries have adopted a series of measures resulting that
have deeply affected trade, therefore the economy of these countries. The
restrictions in markets and regional borders, restrictions at traveling at some
high-risked areas, quarantines and restrictions on public gatherings at bars,
restaurants etc have affected negatively the rate of growth in those countries
not inside and out of the borders (since exports of products have been
severely controlled). Unemployment rate has increased significantly. Private
investment and trade suffer. Tourism is inexistent.
In addition, food insecurity has driven households to adopt measures in
order to withstand. Such measures are the sale of assets, such as land,

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

buildings, livestock and seed rice, that are likely to reduce their future income
or the expenditure of their already existing savings.6
Fear among people has a substantial economic impact as well since
workers are unwilling to engage in collective activities, a fact that has reduced
agricultural not only the agricultural production, but office work as well.
In general, the devotion of increased expenditures to fighting the epidemic,
coupled with declining revenues as economic activity fades, are expanding
fiscal deficits and reducing expenditures on activities that are not directly
related to Ebola. Inflation is rising due to supply bottlenecks, driven by the
reduced labor supply, lower trade domestically and across land borders, and
unavailability of shipping.7

SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA


As it was expected, the Ebola outbreak affected and almost broke down
social ties and cohesion in those three countries. Social gatherings have been
out of the daily agenda, longstanding traditions of community support, care
giving and burial customs have been put aside. Peoples fear of getting
infected had led them to isolation, not only from strangers but from their own
families as well.
Due to the epidemic, expenditures on non-Ebola related health services
have been dramatically reduced, given the fact that the already existed
system had been suffering from severe resource shortages and lack of
financing and personnel. The result is likely to be higher infant and maternal
mortality and increasing numbers of deaths from malaria and other diseases.
On the other hand, the increased attention to hygiene may have improved
water supplies and limited cholera.
As a result of the Ebola outbreak, schools have closed. That fact has
postponed the completion of education for students across the three
countries.8 The most significant outcome of this educational disruption may be
the future productivity losses, reflecting the lower education of those who do
6http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis%20Report

%2023Dec2014.pdf
7http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis%20Report

%2023Dec2014.pdf

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

not return to school, which will also require heavy additional investment in an
attempt to bring educational outcomes back to pre-outbreak levels.9
Its an indisputable fact that the epidemic has caused the erosion of social
ties in these three affected countries. Suspicion, isolation, but most of all
stigmatization of health workers and affected families result from the
epidemic. Also, the mistrust within the family has been increased. Three
quarters of households questioned said they were mistrustful towards all the
other members of the family, 88 percent did not want to live in the same
house as or share a meal with someone who had a family member infected by
the virus, and 86 percent did not want to share the same workspace and the
same means of transport.10Only 28 percent of respondents said that those
cured of Ebola were accepted by the members of their families.11
The epidemic has affected disproportionately women. The reason why is
because the role of women dictated by tradition in these societies, as caregivers exposes them to a greater extend of the danger to get affected. Many
women also finance economic activities through various forms of cooperative
borrowing arrangements that typically require gatherings of people, which
have been suspended due to fear of contagion.
Furthermore, the new established democratically governments have failed
to cope with the crises. While governments have established agencies to
coordinate their efforts against the epidemic, bureaucratic competition has
nevertheless led to duplication and increased cynicism about government
commitment.

http://sa.au.int/en/sites/default/files/THE%20SOCIAL%20IMPACT%20OF%20EBOLA%20English.pdf
10http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis%20Report

%2023Dec2014.pdf
11http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis%20Report

%2023Dec2014.pdf

Rotaract Global Model United Nations; Belgrade 26 30 August, 2015


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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.
UN RESPONSE12

Organizations from around the world have responded to help stop the ongoing
Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. In July 2014, the World Health
Organization (WHO) convened an emergency meeting with health ministers
from eleven countries.13 In September, the United Nations Security Council
declared the Ebola virus outbreak in the West Africa subregion a "threat to
international peace and security" and unanimously adopted a resolution
urging UN member states to provide more resources to fight the outbreak14.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the World
Bank Group have pledged aid money and the World Food Programme
announced plans to mobilize food assistance for an estimated 1 million people
living in restricted access areas. The United Nations Mission for Ebola
Emergency Response (UNMEER) has the task of overall planning and
coordination, directing the efforts of the UN agencies, national governments,
and other humanitarian actors to the areas where they are most needed and
several NGOs have been created in order to tackle the problem.

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER)


On 19 September 2014, an emergency health mission was set for the first
time in the history of United Nations. UN Mission for Ebola Emergency
Response (UNMEER) was established after the unanimous adoption
of General Assembly resolution 69/1, and the adoption of Security Council
resolution 2177 (2014). It was a temporary measure to deal with the
immediate needs in the fight against Ebola by deploying financial, logistical
and human resources to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to support the
push to zero cases.15
On 31 July 2015 UNMEER closed since it has achieved its core objective of
scaling up the response on the ground.16 As of 01 August 2015, oversight of
UN systems Ebola emergency response will be fully led by World Health
Organization, under the direct authority of WHO Director-General Margaret
Chan. In a statement on 31 July the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said 'the
12 http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/137185/1/roadmapupdate25Oct14_eng.pdf?
ua=1
13

http://www.afro.who.int/en/media-centre/media-advisory/item/6672-who-callsemergency-sub-regional-ministerial-meeting-in-accra-ghana-to-tackle-the-on-going-ebolavirus-in-west-africa.html
14

http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sc11566.doc.htm

15

http://theglobalobservatory.org/2014/12/security-council-response-ebola-action/

16

http://ebolaresponse.un.org/un-mission-ebola-emergency-response-unmeer

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

United Nations remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the


Governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in getting to and staying at
zero cases'. The situation may have been stabilized but the disease still
infects thousands of people and its social and economic consequences
should be addressed in order to ensure the recovery of the affected states.
Besides UNMEER and as part of the overall UNMEER and UN response,
UNDP is helping to track payments and improve the systems through which
they are being delivered to treatment center staff, lab technicians, contacts
tracers and burial teams.17

RESOLUTION 2177 18
On 18 September 2014 the Security Council passes unanimously
Resolution 2177, stating that Ebola virus consists a threat to international
peace and security . Not only did a record by setting 134 countries cosponsor the resolution, it was one of three resolutions in history of the Council
to address a global health concern (there are two other Resolutions about
HIV), and the first to declare a health issue to be a threat to international
peace and security.
By passing this Resolution the Security Council is continuing to push the
boundaries of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security
under international law to align more closely with a human security
framework.19

QARMAS (QUESTIONS A RESOLUTION MUST


ANSWER)
-What are the main social and economic consequences after the latest Ebola
outbreak?
-How should we address the social and economic consequences of Ebola?
-Which are the most affected countries that the UN should focus on?
-Are there any target groups that need particular attention?
-What issues have not yet been addressed by the existing resolutions?
17

http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/ourwork/our-projects-and-initiatives/
ebola-response-in-west-africa.html
18

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29262968

19

http://theglobalobservatory.org/2014/12/security-council-response-ebola-action/

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

CONCLUSION
One of the lessons learnt during the fight against this unprecedented
outbreak of the Ebola epidemic is that this was not only a health crisis, but a
social crisis as well. The legacy of civil wars in the three most affected
countries has paved the road so that this outbreak gets that dimensionized.
This outbreak has shown that the international community should not be
overly engaged with humatarian and early recovery actions but it has to focus
on tackling its root causes and help these countrie recover from it as soon as
possible.

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING


http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sc11566.doc.htm

http://ebolaresponse.un.org/un-mission-ebola-emergency-response-unmeer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_epidemic_in_West_Africa

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

http://www.who.int/ith/updates/20140421/en/

Donald G. McNeil Jr. (3 October 2014). "Ask Well: How Does Ebola Spread?
How Long Can the Virus Survive?". The New York Times, available at: http://
well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/ebola-ask-well-spread-public-transit/?_r=0

Chan M (September 2014). "Ebola virus disease in West Africano early end
to the outbreak". N Engl J Med 371 (13): 11835. doi:10.1056/
NEJMp1409859.PMID 25140856, available at: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/
10.1056/NEJMp1409859
http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/treatment/

http://www.medicinenet.com/ebola_virus_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
http://sa.au.int/en/sites/default/files/THE%20SOCIAL%20IMPACT%20OF
%20EBOLA%20-English.pdf

http://epidemic.bio.ed.ac.uk/ebolavirus_fatality_rate

http://apps.who.int/ebola/ebola-situation-reports

http://who.int/csr/disease/ebola/ebola-6-months/guinea-chart-big.png?ua=1
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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebola_virus_disease

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-20140808/en/

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/index.html

http://www.africa.undp.org/content/dam/rba/docs/Reports/EVD%20Synthesis
%20Report%2023Dec2014.pdf

http://sa.au.int/en/sites/default/files/THE%20SOCIAL%20IMPACT%20OF
%20EBOLA%20-English.pdf

http://theglobalobservatory.org/2014/12/security-council-response-ebolaaction/

http://theglobalobservatory.org/2014/12/security-council-response-ebolaaction/

http://ebolaresponse.un.org/un-mission-ebola-emergency-response-unmeer

http://ebolaresponse.un.org/un-mission-ebola-emergency-response-unmeer

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/

http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/

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ECOSOC, TOPIC AREA A: THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT OF EBOLA ON THE AFFECTED COUNTRIES AND SOLUTIONS FOR AN EFFICIENT AND MULTI-SECTORAL RESPONSE.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-therapiesconsultation/en/

http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1899514

http://www.who.int/medicines/emp_ebola_section/en/

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