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The Ebola epidemic has taken many lives, breaking up families and leaving numerous children parentless. But it has also left its mark on the economies of affected countries. In Sierra Leone it has more or less ‘destroyed’ the economy, disrupting all key sectors including agriculture, mining and tourism. Donor support has been too slow to arrive and has not ‘kept pace’ with the disease, according to Alimamy Bangura, Director of the Economic Policy and Research Unit at Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance.
In May this year the first case of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) was reported in Sierra Leone. Little did we know at that time the major impact this would have on both our programmes and the wider context in which we work. For example, what do you do with your Education programme when schools are closed indefinitely?
The Ebola outbreak has already taken many lives in Western Africa, and the long-term economic consequences for affected countries are likely to be dramatic. Such crises can easily spiral out of control and affect other parts of the world, including the European Union. So, what is the EU doing to address this major health crisis? And what can we learn from it in order to avoid facing a similar situation in the future?
By training informal workers in the waste management industry, the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation is helping to formalise waste management economy in Mali, and to generate incomes. 
While the world is making progress in preventing and treating AIDS, the needs of 90% of AIDS orphans are not being met. For charities and international organisations it is time to make these children a priority in the fight against HIV and AIDS.