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COVID-19: New UNDP data dashboards reveal huge disparities among countries in ability to cope and recover



Indicators such as the level of poverty, healthcare capacity, access to internet and social protection can portray how severe the effects of the COVID-19 crisis might be in each of 189 countries.

#New York, April 29, 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today released two new data dashboards that highlight the huge disparities in countries’ abilities to cope with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic is more than a global health emergency. It is a systemic human development crisis, already affecting the economic and social dimensions of development in unprecedented ways. Policies to reduce vulnerabilities and build capacities to tackle crises, both in the short and long term, are vital if individuals and societies are to better weather and recover from shocks like this.

Preparedness of countries to respond to COVID-19

UNDP’s Dashboard 1 on Preparedness presents indicators for 189 countries – including level of development, inequalities,  the capacity of a healthcare system and internet connectivity– to assess how well a nation can respond to the multiple impacts of a crisis like COVID-19. 

While every society is vulnerable to crises, their abilities to respond differs significantly around the world.

For example, the most developed countries – those in the very high human development category- have on average 55 hospital beds, over 30 physicians, and 81 nurses per 10,000 people, compared to 7 hospital beds, 2.5 physicians, and 6 nurses in a least developed country.

And with widespread lockdowns, the digital divide has become more significant than ever. 6.5 billion people around the globe – 85.5 percent of the global population – still don’t have access to reliable broadband internet, which limits their ability to work and continue their education. 

Vulnerabilities of countries in crisis like COVID-19

Preparedness is one thing. But, once a crisis hits, how vulnerable are countries to the fallout? UNDP’s Dashboard 2 on Vulnerabilities present indicators that reflect countries’ susceptibility to the effects of this crisis. y

Those already living in poverty are particularly at risk. Despite recent progress in poverty reduction, about one in four people still live in multidimensional poverty or are vulnerable to it, and more than 40 percent of the global population does not have any social protection. 

The COVID-19 pandemic also reminds us that disruptions in one place are contagious, triggering problems elsewhere. For example, in some countries, like Kyrgyzstan, a significant part of their GDP comes from remittances. While places as diverse as Montenegro, Maldives and Cabo Verde, rely heavily on tourism (almost 60% of GDP in the Maldives for example), which is being hit very hard by travel bans and lockdowns. 

Magnetic Media News working to extrapolate information; will publish at in the coming days.


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Worst COVID case count for China, Supply Chain interrupted and protests erupt over ZERO COVID strategy



By Dana Malcolm
Staff Writer


#China, November 25, 2022 – Mainland China is experiencing record levels of Covid-19 even as the government struggles to enforce some of the strictest Covid-19 protocols in the world.  Upwards of 31 thousand cases were recorded on Wednesday, the highest ever according to the National Health Commission of the PRC.  Mainland China does not include Hong Kong or Taiwan.

An inspection of China’s COVID infections from March 2021 straight to February 2022 would look like an almost completely flat line.  There were no major recorded spikes over the 12 month period and case counts hovered largely under 2000 cases per day.  It took the swift spreading omicron to break that streak sending cases as high as 29 thousand in April.  Now this winter outbreak shot past those numbers.

With less than 6,000 deaths the country has been one of the most successful in the world at keeping its citizens alive but many disagree with the strict and often long lasting lockdowns.

Several cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have tightened COVID restrictions as cases surge.

Violent protests erupted last week in Guangzhou after the city was locked down over less than two thousand Covid-19 cases.  This week protests at an Iphone factory in Zhengzhou erupted once more this time over a pay dispute.

So far officials have not bowed to pressure to lighten the protocols and the economy is suffering, stocks fell steeply on Wednesday.

Supply chain issues have started to rear their heads once more as Apple is already warning that there will be delays in deliveries of their newest Iphone thanks to the Zhengzhou dispute.

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After Thanksgiving, its Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping which this year should see $158 Billion in spending



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


November 25, 2022 – Every year, after a day Thanksgiving holiday,  shops in the US both on line and on the corner slash their prices and residents flock to sites and malls to snatch up all the savings.  This year is no different and though the tradition originated in America, it has spread across the hemisphere with Caribbean businesses picking up the trend as well.

In addition to savings from local store owners, with the advent of online shopping, US marketed Black Friday  deals aren’t just limited to their home countries.  Residents across the Caribbean will be able to shore up on everyday goods, electronics, and Christmas presents offered from major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Target and many others.

Some deals presented themselves earlier that Thursday and will last until 12 pm Friday.  But if you miss the sales don’t worry Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day of the year is coming up just two days after.

Started back in 2005, it was founded by the National Retail Federation for online-only sales and deals to combat the long lines and crowds of Black Friday and dethroned the traditional Friday as the largest shopping event. If you want the in store experience, Friday is your chance but for those who shop online the two are hardly distinguishable.

Experts at business insider say tech deals are better on Cyber Monday but only slightly so if you’re worried about something selling out, it might be best to pick it up on Friday.

It is also worth noting that over the years, even the Saturday in between has taken shape to promote smaller stores.  This shopping day is dubbed: Small Business Saturday and it ensure that the mom and pop or boutique-styled stores are not forgotten in the spending frenzy.

It is estimated that Americans will do 50 per cent of their shopping this holiday weekend; spending some $158 Billion.

Happy shopping!

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Caribbean News

Former Haitian Prime Minister demands apology from Canada 



By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer


#Haiti, November 25, 2022 – Following accusations of financing gangs and criminal activity in Haiti, former Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe has requested an apology from Canada.  Lamothe said he learned of the allegations through social media and was quite shocked.

He believes false information from his detractors was the cause of the “arbitrary decision” made by the Canadian government.

Five days ago, CBC News reported that:  “Canada has expanded its economic sanctions freezing the Canadian assets of Haitian political elites to include former president Michel Martelly and former prime ministers Laurent Lamothe and Jean-Henry Céant.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly accused the trio this weekend of helping gangs undermine Haiti’s current government and called on international partners to follow Canada’s lead.”

Referencing his track record of fighting crime and maintaining law and order in the country, Lamothe said Canada’s accusation was absurd and inconsistent.

Lamothe called on the Canadian government to verify their sources and provide evidence for their accusations.  He added, however, that there is no concrete evidence which could prove his involvement with financing any criminal activity.

“I demand a public apology and reserve the right to go to the Canadian courts for the sake of defending my honour and integrity,” Lamothe said.

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