Economy & Trade

Is Canada Missing out on Leveraging ITMDs in Its Healthcare Plans?

With elections right round the corner in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said that a re-elected Liberal government would spend billions in the coming years to hire family doctors. This report says, Justin Trudeau promised that the Liberals would spend $3 billion over four years starting in 2022 to hire 7500 family doctors and nurses as well as tax and student loan incentives for health professionals who set up shop in rural or remote communities and also pledges an extra $6 billion to wrestle with wait lists.

Allow Least Developed Countries to Develop

The pandemic is pushing back the world’s poorest countries with the least means to finance economic recovery and contagion containment efforts. Without international solidarity, economic gaps will grow again as COVID-19 threatens humanity for years to come.

Argentina Takes Controversial Step Backwards in Biofuel Production

Argentina, historically an agricultural powerhouse, has become a major producer of biofuels in recent years. However, this South American country is now moving backwards in the use of this oil substitute in transportation, a decision in which economics weighed heavily and environmental concerns have been ignored.

Closed Borders and Hostile Receptions Await Afghan Refugees

Whether desperately trying to get a place on the last evacuation flights out of Kabul or trekking to the borders with neighbouring Pakistan and Iran, tens of thousands of Afghans are fleeing their country once more. Events are unfolding at speed. The Taliban are establishing a central government in the capital to fill the void of the collapsed western-backed administration, but they do not control all the country as the protracted civil war enters a new stage. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says that in its “worst case scenario” it is preparing for around 500,000 new refugees in the region by the end of this year. As with many past estimates that could prove optimistic.

Jamaica Walking a Tightrope Between Boosting the Economy and Cutting Emissions in COVID-19 Era

Even as COVID-19 walloped Jamaica’s economy last year, the government overhauled its energy emissions milestones to create what many described as a post-pandemic recovery package, based on stronger carbon targets for the farming and forestry sectors.

Vaccine Access Negotiations to Resume as New Variants Spread

A committee that has spent almost a year negotiating the terms of a temporary intellectual property waiver for Covid-19 medicines will reconvene in September after pausing for the European Summer.

The Taliban Win: The Aftermath in Afghanistan and in the World

Some years ago, on a piece on the Afghan crisis I had written that Mullah Omar’s face bore no resemblance to that of the impossibly beautiful, albeit mythical, Helen of Troy. Yet it too had caused the launch of a thousand ships (airships to be more precise), just as Helen’s had done in Homer’s epic tale, the Iliad. Like Troy in that ancient narrative, Afghanistan of the present times was swarmed with invaders who could also be seen as the counterparts of those Greeks- the Americans and their NATO allies. This war lasted for double the time of the Trojan episode, twenty years instead of ten. At its end it led to a reverse situation, victory of the Trojans, in this case, of the Taliban. Though the Greeks destroyed Troy by the ruse of a gift of the Wooden Horse, eventually a Trojan warrior, Aeneid, sailed to southern Mediterranean and laid the foundation of the Rome and its empire. The Greek epoch ultimately yielded to the Roman age, and the annals of geopolitics of that time took a completely new turn. Will the impact of the Afghan war be the same? Shall we see a power transformation in a new paradigm from what we have at the present time? Will American predominance make way for a risen China, now or in the future?

Railroads Drive Expansion of Soybean Cultivation in Brazil’s Amazon Region

The sea of soybeans that sprouts every November will spread even further in the state of Mato Grosso if three new railway lines that would boost soy production in central-western Brazil and growing parts of the Amazon rainforest are built.

Digital Tech can Help African Island States Cope with Climate Change

Investing in digital technologies can help African small island developing states (SIDS), vulnerable to extreme weather events, cope with growing impacts of climate change, says the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Crisis in Afghanistan: All Eyes on Central Asia

The political and human catastrophe in Afghanistan is threatening to boost autocratic tendencies in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. With the withdrawal of US and coalition forces from Afghanistan and the rapid takeover by the Taliban, neighbouring Central Asian countries are once again at the focus of international attention.

Eastern Caribbean Youth Join Calls for Resilient Global Food Systems

As the international community prepares for the landmark United Nations Food Systems Summit, a pivotal gathering as part of a global goal to tackle food insecurity, hunger, biodiversity loss, and climate change through sustainable food production, Caribbean youth say the successful transformation of food systems must include young innovators.

Why Do Organizations Fail to Keep Workplace Harassments in Check

“Sexual harassment is not about sexual attraction, it is about power. If an individual uses power plays to subjugate other people, when we have such dynamics going on in the workplace, what we need is a system that fights back against it, which unfortunately a lot of workplaces, they allow it to persist,”, says Adrienne Lawrence, anchor and legal analyst in an interview given to me here.

Resilience in a Riskier World

Over the past two decades, the Asia-Pacific region has made remarkable progress in managing disaster risk. But countries can never let down their guard. The COVID-19 pandemic, with its epicentre now in Asia, and all its tragic consequences, has exposed the frailties of human societies in the face of powerful natural forces. As of mid-August 2021, Asian and Pacific countries had reported 65 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1 million deaths. This is compounded by the extreme climate events which are affecting the entire world. Despite the varying contexts across geographic zones, the climate change connection is evident as floods swept across parts of China, India and Western Europe, while heatwaves and fires raged in parts of North America, Southern Europe and Asia.

Prioritising Profits Reversed Health Progress

Instead of a health system striving to provide universal healthcare, a fragmented, profit-driven market ‘non-system’ has emerged. The 1980s’ neo-liberal counter-revolution against the historic 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration is responsible.

Southern African Migrants Excluded as COVID-19 Pandemic Grows

Migrants across the Southern Africa region are massively disadvantaged as they find themselves excluded from vaccine programmes – even when the global vaccine initiative COVAX often funds these programmes.

NDC Partnership: Supporting a Global Network of Youth Climate Advocates

Just over six months after launching its Youth Engagement Plan, the NDC Partnership, the coalition assisting governments with their climate action plans, has brought together youth climate advocates for its inaugural NDC Global Youth Engagement Forum.

Community Inclusion Currencies: Money for the People – Podcast

Do you think it’s possible to transform communities that are stagnating from a lack of currency into places where people’s income-generating activities create a vibrant, self-sustaining circular economy?  It is in parts of Kenya that are using the community currency Sarafu, according to today’s guest.

Poor Sales at Slated Namibian Elephant Auction

A heavily criticised Namibian government sale of elephants has attracted only a third of its expected sales as government officials admit that an international outcry when the plans were announced may have put buyers off.

Privatised Health Services Worsen Pandemic

Decades of public health cuts have quietly taken a huge human toll, now even more pronounced with the pandemic. Austerity programmes, by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, have forced countries to cut public spending, including health provisioning.

Solar Energy Revitalises Indigenous and Farming Communities in Chile

Communities in Arica y Parinacota, the region in the extreme north of Chile, are using solar energy and are being empowered by projects for shrimp and trout farming, the production of yarn from camelid wool, the production of tomatoes and cheese, and even the sale of surplus solar power to the national electric grid.

What Might Help Save Our Planet? Different Approaches to Desertification

I am in the Swedish countryside, lush and beautiful in its late summer attire, having a conversation with the son of a friend of mine. Oskar Olin runs a sheep farm, Stabbehyltan Lamm AB, where he practises holistic management. His three-hundred sheep graze within an area of 30 ha where Oskar every day moves his flock from one pasture to another. It takes between 45 to 90 days before the sheep are back on the same pasture where the rotation began. The animals are thus not overgrazing the area, while they at the same time trample down a protective layer of vegetation, which fertilizes the soil. Carbon is bound in the earth, soil organic matter increases, retaining humidity and accordingly deepen the root systems of wholesome plants.

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