Countries fighting COVID-19; here is a rundown Germany, Bahamas, TCI and Jamaica
#World – March 17, 2020 — Germany cutting a €50m cheque to fly citizens home from countries around the world including the Dominican Republic.
TCI Premier says country has $200 million cash flow be month end; $150 million is uncommitted and will back a stimulus plan.
Jamaican PM Andrew Holeness says effective tomorrow, weddings and funerals are limited to close relatives and should not exceed 20 ppl
Cruise ships are docking in nearby Bahamas, continuing itineraries before the near six week hiatus but no one is coming off the boats. This is World Famous Bay Street…bone dry
New WHA resolution to accelerate efforts on food micronutrient fortification
May 30, 2023 – The delegates at the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly adopted the resolution on accelerating efforts to prevent micronutrient deficiencies through safe and effective food fortification. The resolution urges Member States to make decisions on food fortification with micronutrients and/or supplementation and to consider ways of strengthening financing and monitoring mechanisms.
Deficiencies in vitamin and mineral status, particularly of folate, iron, vitamin A, and zinc, affect 50% of all preschool aged children and 67% of all women of reproductive age (WRA) worldwide. Micronutrient deficiencies can have serious consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects. These preventable deficiencies are also associated with a higher risk of blindness, fragile immune systems, diminished exercise and physical capacity. Mothers with low micronutrient can have babies prematurely or with low birth weight. Iodine deficiency, still prevalent in many countries, impairs brain development in children, undermining their ability to learn and their eventual productivity.
Large scale food fortification (LSFF) is part of the solution. By adding essential vitamins and minerals to staple foods and condiments, such as wheat and maize flours, rice, cooking oil, and salt in accordance with national consumption patterns and deficiencies, countries can correct and further prevent a demonstrated micronutrient deficiency.
Fortification is an evidence-informed intervention that contributes to the prevention, reduction and control of micronutrient deficiencies. It can be used to correct a demonstrated micronutrient deficiency in the general population (mass or large-scale fortification) or in specific population groups (targeted fortification) such as children, pregnant women and the beneficiaries of social protection programmes.
WHO has been working in food fortification for decades and collaborates with different networks for fortification at the regional, country and community levels. WHO recommends large scale food fortification as a powerful evidence-informed and cost-effective intervention to fight the consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, including iodine deficiency disorders, anaemia and iron deficiency, and neural tube defects among others.
The resolution was put forward by Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, European Union and its 27 Member States, Israel, Malaysia and Paraguay.
The resolution received a wide support from the civil society, with over 50 organizations calling on WHO to accelerate efforts on micronutrient fortification of food through a jointly signed letter. The organizations underlined in their letter that micronutrient deficiency is a crisis that affects all communities globally, low-income or high-income, and that there is still a large unfinished agenda on food fortification, calling on WHO to double the efforts to improve the reach and quality of food fortification programs, which have big potential to combat these preventable deficiencies and protect health.
The resolution was adopted under the umbrella of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) report. The Nutrition Decade aims to accelerate the implementation of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) commitments, achieve the global nutrition and diet-related noncommunicable disease (NCD) targets by 2025, and contribute to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Reflection on global progress and challenges encountered and on a way forward after the ending of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016 – 2025) is encouraged.
Biggest reef to be created
#Dubai, May 23, 2023 – A Dubai based architectural company has unveiled plans for the world’s largest man made reef called Dubai Reefs. The massive project, which is yet to be approved, comes as the effects of climate change continue to highlight the desperate need to secure the survival of the natural environment.
If built, Dubai Reefs, which is described as a sustainable floating community, will house more than 1 billion coral and 100 million mangroves.
It will do all of this via the creation of artificial reefs spanning 200 square kilometers, powered by solar and wave energy. It’s an effort, representatives say, to protect the rich oceans and ocean life and promote sustainable interactions with our environment.
“The health of our cities is intrinsically tied to the health of our oceans. The ocean is the source of life controlling everything. Given that everything on our planet is connected, a healthy ocean is a healthy city. Our ocean will be entirely different by the end of the century if we don’t take action today,” said Baharash Bagherian, CEO of URB.
They hope that the project described as a sustainable model, and which will also host hotels and introduce more eco tourism will be replicated.
“Beyond creating a unique resilient destination for ecotourism & marine research, Dubai Reefs aims to become a blueprint for ocean living, whilst mitigating the impacts of climate change,” Bagherian said.
The company says it is a significant step for all coastal cities at risk of sea rise.
If successfully built, the project could be a game changer for not only coastal cities but Small Island Developing States (SIDS) who are losing their reefs and shoreline to ocean warming and sea level rise, and are also exposed to dangerous hurricanes in the Atlantic and typhoons in the Pacific each year.
West Jet Avoids Shutdown
May 23, 2023 – Airline workers in North America are disgruntled with their working hours and pay, resulting in more and more strikes and they’re hitting where it hurts, grinding operations to a halt on the eve of holidays and travel heavy weekends to drive their frustration home. Canada is the home of the latest set of fed up workers; this time it was WestJet/Swoop pilots who gave a 72 hour strike notice protesting, once again, poor working conditions and low pay.
The notice came on May 16th, and Pilots would have begun their strike on May 19th, just before the long Victoria Day Weekend costing WestJet millions of dollars in profit. An all out shutdown was only narrowly avoided when the airline scrambled to give the pilots what they asked for hours before the industrial action was to begin. More than 200 flights had to be cancelled anyway.
WestJet said the pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), were being unreasonable as they had expectations of closing in towards U.S.–like wages, despite living and working in Canada.
According to reports, the Pilots got a 4 year contract with not only a raise in the low realm of US Pilots but better working conditions. The pilots had been negotiating for 9 months before deciding to strike, and only then were they afforded the contract, details of which have not yet been made public.
Airline Workers have been on repeated strikes in the US recently and the UK has had its own share of near shutdowns over wages as well.
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