United Nations World Food Program staff during a supply-delivery operation in Freetown, Sierra Leone, on Nov. 7, 2014

Approximately 1 million people living in the three West African nations most plagued by the Ebola outbreakā€”Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leoneā€”are at risk of going hungry because of major food shortages due to ā€œborder closures, quarantines and crop losses,ā€ Al-Jazeera reports.

Two food-monitoring groups, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the U.N. World Food Program, reported these findings on Wednesday.

ā€œThe loss of productivity and household income due to Ebola-related deaths and illness, as well as people staying away from work, for fear of contagion, is compounding an economic slowdown in the three countries,ā€ both agencies said in a joint statement.

Trying to solve one problemā€”curbing the spread of Ebolaā€”by restricting peopleā€™s movements inadvertently spurred another: the slowing down of the processes that drive the food markets. Ā 


ā€œRestrictions put in place to curb the disease were also ā€˜seriously hindering peopleā€™s access to food, threatening their livelihoods, disrupting food markets and processing chains, and exacerbating shortages stemming from crop losses,ā€™ā€ the joint statement continued.

The aid groups say that approximately 500,000 people are in immediate danger of going hungry, and that number will double by March 2015 ā€œunless access to food is drastically improved and measures are put in place to safeguard crop and livestock production,ā€ Al-Jazeera explains.

Read more at Al-Jazeera.