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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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Babies exposed to Fentanyl at daycare, one dead and Mayor expresses outrage



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#USA, September 26, 2023 – A New York woman was arrested for murder following the death of a 1-year-old boy at her daycare centre which authorities say was also being used to store illicit drugs.  Grei Mendez was charged with one of her tenants, a male, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, over the shocking incident.

One-year-old Nicholas Dominici died of a suspected fentanyl overdose after being exposed to the drug in the daycare.  In an update from the NYPD via Facebook live, we learned a kilo of fentanyl had been sitting in the same place where the children napped; three other babies reportedly had to be revived with a fentanyl antidote Narcan.

They were all two years old or younger.

Eric Adams, New York City Mayor, was enraged by the incident.  He described it as ‘total madness.’

“Less than the size of a fingernail can kill an adult, so imagine what it would do to a child, you are irresponsible as an adult if you have this inside your home,” he said, “this is probably one of the worst days I’ve had walking into the Bronx– sitting down with those parents– what do you even say?”

Joe Kenny, Chief Detective on the case, revealed that around 2:41 on September 15, they responded to calls of three unconscious children at the licensed daycare centre.  Emergency Medical personnel quickly recognized the symptoms and administered the antidote, saving two lives.  Only two hours earlier, a mother had picked up the fourth child, who began to exhibit symptoms at home.  He was administered Narcan as well.

All the children had fentanyl in their systems.

The accused are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and depraved indifference.

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Biden calls for UN approval of mission to help Haiti



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


#USA, September 26, 2023 – United States President Joe Biden, called on the United Nations, during the recent 78th UN General Assembly meeting, to approve the “security support mission” Kenya has pledged to lead to help rebuild democracy in embattled Haiti.

The POTUS expressed, at the meeting on Tuesday September 19th, that Haiti has run out of patience and is in need of a solution to the economic and social deterioration of the nation which has ravaged stability in the country home to around 11 million people.

“The people of Haiti cannot wait much longer,” said Biden.

This comes as the world anxiously waits for an update from the Security Council on the mission Kenya agreed on in July this year, and after they went to Haiti on August 20th, to assess the needs of the country.

In fact, Al Jazeera reports that the Security Council commenced negotiations on the issue earlier this month.

Additionally, this follows previous efforts to help the nation, the most recent being the visit of CARICOM’s Eminent Persons Groups, which went to the island to help bring about general elections, but unfortunately failed due to the regression of stakeholders’ positions in support of their efforts and strident calls for the resignation of the current Prime Minister Ariel Henry.

Biden was speaking on the importance of more global action to help fight climate change as well as support for Ukraine, stressing the role of the United States, and in all of this, he briefly called attention to Haiti, highlighting the urgent need for the security mission approval.

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Suriname President calls for Swift Action to fend off Climate Change at UN



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 


#USA, September 24, 2023 – Chan Santokhi, President of Suriname, highlighted some major challenges Suriname is faced with due to climate change, as one of the only [three] carbon negative countries in the world and non-contributing nation to climate change effects.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, 78th Session on September 20th, he informed that the country is, as we speak, getting “extraordinary high temperatures” which brings a range of effects such as challenges with the availability of drinking water.

He continued to explain that the rising sea level poses a threat to coastal areas. Also, he said inland areas are frequently flooded at an increasing rate due to heavy rainfall.

Even more unfortunate, he added that consequently people living in remote parts of the country’s [vast interior] are deprived of various necessities such as education, work and  basic utilities, further informing that food security is also threatened.

Amid all this, he maintained that Suriname remains dedicated and continues to play its part in protecting the planet via national actions and also with “engaging in strategic international public and private partnerships that will contribute to keeping the country carbon negative “now and also for the future.”

In continuation, Santokhi pointed out the need for easier climate financing to put in place mitigation and adaptation policies.

In light of this, he also spoke of the lack of progress for essential elements for global climate change solutions, and peace and prosperity.

He said, “this is my fourth statement to this global body and since then, I’m afraid to conclude, that not much has changed for the better.”

Further emphasizing the need for progress, he alluded to an upcoming gathering in Dubai is “less than two months,” saying they can’t go there and hear the “same analysis, the same stories, the same policies, the same speeches with [noble goals], the same promises,” with nothing gained after.

He added, calling for faster solutions, that decisions to make fundamental impacts and improve lives take too long to be made.

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