The first diagnosed case of Ebola in the U.S., discovered nearly a week ago at a hospital in north Dallas, seized the country, as public health officials rushed to contain both the virus and the fear it inevitably caused. But Ebola has been tearing through the lives of West Africans in Dallas for months, killing loved ones back in Africa and putting a strain on bank accounts here in Texas.
Now that the virus has reached Americarsquos shores therersquos a grim sort of hope that help may finally be on the way.
ldquoPeople are not happy that the disease has made it to America,rdquo Alben Tarty, spokesperson for the Liberian Community Association of Dallas-Fort Worth, told TIME Saturday. ldquoBut with the attention it has garnered they think, lsquoOk, this is a bad thing, but maybe America can now appreciate what wersquore going through.rdquo
Jenny Dakinah lost her half brother and almost his entire household to Ebola (his wife, niece, mother-in-law and teenage son all died; miraculously, her now 10-month-old nephew survived). Shersquos mailing canned food to her family still in Liberia.
ldquoYou donrsquot know who you come in contact with when you buy food,rdquo she said. Sending food and money to help her family survive the sputtering economy is straining her resources. ldquoItrsquos getting harder and harder.rdquo
Liberia is one of the most remittance-dependent countries on earth. Money sent to relatives from Liberians living in the U.S. accounted for 20% of the West African country#8217s economy in 2012 (the second highest percentage in Africa, after Lesotho), according to a 2014 World Bank report. As Ebola takes livesmdashboth directly and by overwhelming the healthcare infrastructure so that even less lethal diseases become more deadlymdashit is also gutting economies where it strikes.
In Liberia, the hardest-hit country in this outbreak, the economy is buckling as society and its markets hunker down. Schools and offices close as a precaution. People interact less, leave the house less, and thus buy less. Without revenue many businesses that do stay open eventually shut down and lay off workers. The Liberian economy has been clawing its way back to health since the end of the countryrsquos civil war in 2003 but the World Bank projects that if the virus isnrsquot substantially contained by next year its growth rate will plummetmdashto negative 4.9%.
ldquoThe financial implications of this are huge. Tremendous,rdquo said James Kollie, the pastor of Better Life Church, a largely Liberian congregation in the Dallas area. ldquoMillions of dollars have been lost in this outbreak. As Irsquom talking to you, more. Billions of dollars could be lost.rdquo Kollie has family and a business back in Liberia. ldquoRight now everything has been affected. Irsquom not making an income right now. Everything has come to a standstill.rdquo (责任编辑：东升彩票官网平台) 本文地址：http://www.npohm21.com/yule/mingxing/201908/2149.html