The Ebola epidemic has cast a dark shadow over Christmas this year in Liberia, where small businesses are especially feeling the pinch. “This is the worst Christmas we have ever seen,” said Isaac G. Chea, a trader. “Because of the Ebola crisis… people don’t want to come in the market, there where people gather; touching each other” for fear of contracting the disease.
Monrovia residents cannot remember a more morose Christmas period since the west African country’s back-to-back civil wars, which claimed some 250,000 lives between 1989 and 2003.
The Ebola crisis, which has seen more than 3,000 Liberians lose their lives, prompted President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to cancel a traditional event in which she invites children to her office to give them Christmas presents. READ MORE OF THIS STORY