Dr. Lynn Black
Chair, Board of Directors, Last Mile Health and
Attending Physician, Mass General Hospital
Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
CEO, World Food Program USA
In conversation with
Executive Director, Aspen Congressional Program
Co-Chair, Aspen Institute Food Security Strategy Group
Former Secretary of Agriculture
The true impact of Ebola on West Africa is only beginning to come into view. In addition to the crippling human toll, Ebola has wrought havoc on the economies and food systems of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Interdependent industries such as agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing have all been disrupted. Farmers have avoided tending their fields for fear of contracting the disease, and border closures have had serious consequences for regional trade. The impact of the outbreak on food and labor prices has driven up costs across the board. This comes at a particularly challenging time as it becomes clear that access to nutrients and clean water are critical for an effective recovery for those infected with the virus.
Responding to the latest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the widespread impact of such emergencies, this distinguished panel will examine the linkages between Ebola, food systems, and the economies in the region. The cross-sector impact of this crisis will be discussed in detail, as well as strategies to mitigate the rippling effects of Ebola and building resilience in food systems that can decrease the potential impact of health threats on national food supplies and scale up nutrient access for those most in need.