WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps applauds the Obama administration's emergency funding request to Congress to fight the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The request, which was sent to Congress November 5, provides for $2.1 billion in urgently needed humanitarian assistance for medical and non-medical interventions, as well as community education and economic support for countries potentially at risk of collapsing due to the Ebola crisis.
"Mercy Corps' staff on the ground in Liberia are seeing an urgent need to continue to mobilize communities to educate hundreds of thousands of people who don't know how best to protect themselves and their families," says Andrea Koppel, Vice President for Global Engagement and Policy at Mercy Corps. "Just as worrisome, we are seeing the early warning signs of a growing economic crisis as the outbreak's effects reverberate across many communities."
A new Mercy Corps assessment of the impact of Ebola on markets and food security in Liberia details how consumers and traders alike have been adversely affected by the crisis. Mercy Corps found that food prices in some communities have increased by 17 percent, and families are coping by reducing the quality and quantity of what they eat. Sixty-six percent of households surveyed also reported a decrease in income because of repercussions of the Ebola crisis.
"Without immediate interventions such as emergency cash transfers to vulnerable households, support for farmers and fewer restrictions on the movement of goods, Liberia could be facing a significant food crisis by April or May of 2015," says Koppel. "We urge Congress to fully fund the Administration's emergency Ebola request, including the humanitarian assistance and the contingency funds that will allow for a holistic response to this destabilizing crisis. It is also vitally important that Congress fully fund the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance to ensure that, in addition to the Ebola response, future lifesaving interventions in other parts of the world will be possible."
Mercy Corps has worked in Liberia since 2002 supporting its economic recovery and social transition following years of civil war.
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places. www.mercycorps.org.
SOURCE Mercy Corps