A World Bank Group survey conducted in the worst Ebola hit nations, including Liberia, has painted a bright picture for Liberia while Sierra Leone still lags behind.So far, Liberia has officially gone at least 19 days (today) without recording a single new case of the virus on its territory while in neighboring Sierra Leone, despite reports of the infection rate dropping, the virus is still raging.According to the latest round of “high-frequency mobile-phone surveys” conducted in both countries by the Bank and partners, in order to assess how Ebola is impacting people’s livelihoods, the return to work continues in Liberia, led by gains for wage workers and the rural self-employed, while the picture remains mixed in Sierra Leone, where urban youth and the non-farm self-employed continued to lag behind.The survey findings have come at a time when the Presidents of Liberia – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Sierra Leone – Ernest Bai Koroma, and Guinea – Alpha Condé, are in Washington, DC at the World Bank Group’s Spring Meetings. The three West African leaders are in the US to share their Ebola recovery plans with finance and development ministers and international partners. Ahead of the Spring Meeting, they met with US President Barack Obama.“As Liberia approaches zero cases, and Sierra Leone sees promising declines in infection rates in recent weeks, it will be important to understand where economic recovery efforts should be targeted, and which people within each country need the most attention both now and once the health crisis has fully abated,” the Bank said in a release.”Liberia has made great progress in its fight against Ebola and I have great hope that all affected countries will get to and maintain zero cases,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Group Vice President for the Africa Region. “Even as these countries implement their respective economic recovery plans, the long-term economic and social impacts of such a prolonged and devastating outbreak will undoubtedly put many families and communities at risk. We and our partners must continue to respond quickly and effectively to support those who need it most.”In Liberia, the Bank has worked closely with the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and the Gallup Organization to conduct these mobile-phone surveys.In Liberia, key findings from surveys state, “employment situation in Liberia continues to improve. A return in wage work and rural self-employment was offset by a typical seasonal lull in agricultural work, so the overall percentage out of work remains similar to January. Women continue to experience the worst job losses – they are typically self-employed, working as traders or in markets, the type of jobs that have been most impacted.The Bank also said that most agricultural households reported that their 2014 harvest was smaller than the previous year. “These effects,” according to them, “are not restricted to areas that have been directly impacted by Ebola, underlining the need to provide broad agricultural support across the country.”The surveys further stated that food insecurity remains high in the country, but has seen significant improvement in rural areas.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf last Friday, April 9, inaugurated Liberia’s first post-war industrial rice processing and warehousing facility, Fabrar, in Kakata, Margibi County. In her remarks at the facility, she stated that Fabrar’s initiative represents “a major step forward;” adding that it should have been done as a country.The Bank’s surveys state that increases in urban areas have offset the decrease in rural areas, so the national level stayed about the same since January, with just under 75 percent of those surveyed reporting that they were concerned about having enough to eat in the previous week. “The use of economic coping strategies such as selling or slaughtering livestock, borrowing money, and delaying investments has also leveled off, a hopeful sign that households are beginning to rebuild lost assets.”“The use of public services appears to be rebounding. As schools have re-opened, more than three-quarters of respondents with primary school-aged children reported at least some have returned to school. Older children, however, saw a decline in attendance from last year. In both age groups, parents cited a lack of money as the main barrier to sending children back to school, rather than fear of infection. The cost constraints may be more significant for older children though as fees and costs are higher for later years of schooling, and because older children have more income generating potential for the household.“In health services, there appears to be a shift from private providers back to public providers, approaching pre-crisis levels.”This fifth round of data collection in Liberia will be the last done by mobile phone, the Bank said. They disclosed that they are working with LISGIS to return to in-person surveys now that the infection risk is lower. “These will allow for an even fuller understanding of what Ebola’s effects have been in that country.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Hero Caribbean Premier League 2018…By Clifton RossJamaica Tallawahs Operations Manager Andrew Richardson said with crunch time approaching, the team is focused on continuing their win-streak as they prepare to tackle the Guyana Amazon Warriors in their next match set for Saturday under lights at Providence.Andrew RichardsonThe Tallawahs final squad members arrived on Wednesday while some came Monday and immediately commenced their training at the Providence Stadium. The former Tallawahs fast-bowler Tallawahs Manager, during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times Sport on Thursday afternoon, said that his players have been enjoying their time so far in the tourney and are upbeat ahead of Saturday’s clash versus the Warriors at home.“It’s always enjoyable to come to Guyana, we have had some ups and downs, we have won three in a row and we lost three in a row. But we’re looking to fix it cause now is the business end and its about positioning and hopefully we hit all our straps and correct the errors we made before”, Richardson admitted.The Jamaica Tallawahs players during their net session on ThursdayThe 37 year-old believed that his team was playing a good brand of cricket and he hopes that they can continue their win streak versus the home team and further climb the points table with play-offs approaching. “Our batting has been doing fairly decent, we have been scoring 180 plus as along as we have been defending what we post. The wicket here in Guyana has improved its look like 170 so hopefully we can capitalize on the nature of it”.Tied on 10 points with their opponents for this weekend, despite being in 4th place the former Tallawahs pacer said that winnings games and acquiring the necessary points are crucial objectives for the team. “They (points) are extremely important; the next couple of games the teams involved will determine the play-off spots. Everyone wants to be one or two, but we have to do we have to do the situation is we have one more preliminary game and we can ask our players to come good against Guyana and hopefully we can come out victorious”, he said.Former title holders, the Tallawahs have been one of the better all-round sides this season and Richardson said it’s about the team winning every match and working on their weak areas as they go forward. “We want to win every game here, we have a three game win streak and we want to pull it back at the back end we have areas we need to brush up on and now is the time” he ended.Both teams will have just one day left to fine-tune themselves ahead of Saturday night’s clash under lights at Providences which bowls off at 20:00h.
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Leeds United: Sam Byram strikes again as Whites snatch late Championship point 1 Sam Byram scored his third goal in as many games for Leeds as they came from behind to draw at Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship.The hosts took an early first-half lead, largely against the run of play, through Nelson Oliveira, before academy product Byram put Leeds level ten minutes from time.The point puts Steve Evans’ side up to 12th in the Championship standings, with Dougie Freedman’s Forest 13th.The visitors did everything but score in the first half, as they dominated the majority of play.United were quick out of the blocks as Stuart Dallas went close when he pulled a 20-yard shot past the post and Chris Wood nearly headed on target from a corner minutes later.Forest took the lead through their first real chance as they capitalised on poor Leeds defending.Centre-back Matt Mills sent a long, direct ball down the centre of the field and Italian centre-back Giuseppe Bellusci failed to clear. That saw Portuguese forward Oliveira, on loan from Benfica, through on goal and outcoming goalkeeper Marco Silvestri sprawled at the ball, but it bypassed him as he was outside of the box he could not use his hands and the Forest man converted into an open goal.Leeds continued to look most likely to get the next goal as Charlie Taylor raced down the left but the young full-back overhit his cross along the six-yard box.Chris O’Grady’s deflected shot was well held by Leeds shot-stopper Silvestri, who was rarely tested in the first period other than the goal.Oliveira missed a good chance minutes into the second as his free-kick from 20 yards arrowed over the crossbar.Byram, who broke back into the Leeds XI and scored twice against Wolves recently, headed over as Leeds continued to press for an equaliser.Chris Wood sliced a volley over from a promising position, while at the other end Forest could have doubled their lead before the hour mark, Luke Murphy clearing Matt Mills’ header off the line.Substitute Jamie Ward beat a man to come inside before rifling a rising shot from around 20 yards, with Silvestri tipping it over the bar well.Substitute Souleymane Doukara made an immediate impact as he came inside from the left wing and passed to Byram, who controlled and fired Leeds level with a low strike from the edge of the box.Mirco Antenucci could have won it for Leeds as the ball was cut back to him and the Italian forward opened up his left foot too much and he struck well wide before Chris Wood missed a glorious chance late on. Forest could have stole it in the last minute but Oliver Burke’s bouncing volley hit the post and the points were shared.Both teams have a quick turnaround in a busy festive period, with Forest facing Cardiff and Leeds hosting Derby on Tuesday. LEEDS UNITED BOSS STEVE EVANS: ‘WE CAN MOUNT A CHALLENGE TO TAKE US TO THE TOP FLIGHT’