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#Ebola: Doctors without Borders' projects to wrap up soon

The group says it will continue to provide healthcare to the three countries worst hit by the epidemic.

Health specialists prepare for work in an isolation ward for patients at the Doctors Without Borders facility in Gukedou, southern Guinea. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Almost three years after the Ebola outbreak began, Doctors without Borders announced that they’re closing down the last projects dedicated to caring for survivors.

However, the humanitarian group says it will continue to provide healthcare to the three countries worst hit by the epidemic.

More than 11,000 people died from the disease in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while about 30,000 others were infected in the West African nations.

Meanwhile, more than half the population face food shortages, and many will not cope if further disasters such as drought or floods strike, UN food agencies said on Thursday.

Food shortages in most of the West African are caused by problems that predate the Ebola outbreak, the World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said.

Some 3.5 million people do not have enough safe and nutritious food to eat, the agencies said in a report published on Thursday.

Of that number, around 600,000 people face severe food shortages and are not prepared for sudden shocks such as food price increases, floods or droughts.

The report said the number of people "severely" affected by a lack of food has increased by 60 percent since 2010.
The Ebola outbreak - now officially over - worsened food shortages in some districts, notably Kailahun and Kenema, but in most of the country the problem is chronic, the report said.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)