The report said that action is required to protect the poor and support farmers, media reported. "Border closures, movement restrictions and a slowdown in farming activity are shaking food markets badly," said Ayodele Odusola, chief economist at the Regional Bureau for Africa of the United Nations Development Program(UNDP).

Since the onset of the Ebola crisis early this year in West Africa, buying power went down by 20 percent in Sierra Leone and by more than 25 percent in Liberia, said the study.

The study also found rural communities were worst affected, due to soaring transport costs and declining farming incomes. Reduced traffic has been observed in more than two-thirds of Liberia's counties.

Till the date, WHO has reported 15,351 Ebola cases in eight countries since the outbreak began, with 5,459 reported deaths, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the three hardest-hit West African countries.

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