This Selected Issues paper aims to measure the impact of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic on economic growth in Sierra Leone. A novel empirical approach is used, which is based on a Difference in Differences setup, called the Synthetic Control Method. The model suggests that EVD had a severe impact on growth. In 2014, the first year EVD hit the country, the impact on real growth excluding iron ore is estimated to be more than 5 percentage points. It is suggested that in outer years, the severity of the impact will lessen, and growth will converge to its normal path by 2018.
This paper discusses Liberia’s Request for an Extension of the Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). From mid-2014 to mid-2015, Liberia faced a serious Ebola virus disease crisis, which triggered the declaration of a state of emergency. End-June 2014 performance criteria (PCs) and indicative targets were met, except the revenue floor and the floor net foreign exchange position of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), and the ceiling on net domestic assets. The authorities are expected to request waivers for the missed PCs in light of corrective actions undertaken to improve revenue collection and strengthen the net foreign exchange position of the CBL. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request to extend the ECF arrangement.