'Grave concerns' over food shortages in Ebola-hit nations

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Labour shortages and disrupted cross-border trade caused by the deadly Ebola outbreak have sparked "grave food security concerns" in the worst-hit countries, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Restrictions on movement in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has led to panic buying, food shortages and severe price hikes, especially in towns and cities, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization said.

"Access to food has become a pressing concern for many people in the three affected countries and their neighbours," said Bukar Tijani, FAO Regional Representative for Africa.

"With the main harvest now at risk and trade and movements of goods severely restricted, food insecurity is poised to intensify in the weeks and months to come.

"The situation will have long-lasting impacts on farmers' livelihoods and rural economies."

The Ebola outbreak has killed 1,552 people and infected 3,062, according to the latest figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

SAPA

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