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Haiti Leaders Asking Authorities To Secure Airports And Bus Stations As Coronavirus Death Toll Going Up

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According to reports from local media like Bon Déjeuner! Radio (BDR! Live), VOA, and Radio Television Caraibes, the opposition leaders, health leaders, and other political leaders across Haiti are asking the Haitian Government officials and other agencies officials across Haiti to keep their eyes on the tourists from the U.S. and other countries who are entering the country due to Coronavirus fear as death are growing overseas. The opposition leaders and other political leaders across Haiti are afraid that the Coronavirus hit Haiti when the country doesn’t have good hospitals and types of equipment to solve the problem. That virus is from China and it is reportedly in the Dominican Republic now, so this is why the leaders in Haiti are making sure that the virus stays overseas because Haitian authorities are not ready for cases in a poor country like Haiti. Unfortunately, President Jovenel Moise and the new Prime Minister Jouthe Joseph are quiet about how to secure the security and the safety of Haiti Citizens.

“It’s sad that the Coronavirus is already in the Dominican Republic, and I hope the Dominican Republic leaders do their best to protect their Citizens like we are doing our best to protect our Citizens in Haiti.”, said Mr. Werley Nortreus and other political leaders across Haiti.

As the virus is growing overseas, even the employees at the government-run, General Hospital in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, fear the day when the first coronavirus patient checks in.

Dr. Jacques Mackenzie told VOA that no measures have been taken to protect the staff at the nation’s largest health facility if Coronavirus hit the country.

“It’s sad to say this but the hospital receives a lot of patients daily and we are not — I repeat — we are not ready, as far as I know, to diagnose a person who has the coronavirus,” he said, adding that they don’t even have the test to determine if someone is infected.

According to reports, the Dominican Republic health officials are now reporting five cases, including a 56-year-old Dominican woman who lives in Italy, and a 12-year-old who recently returned from a European vacation with his family. Both are in quarantine at home. There are now a total of 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean, and that’s why Haiti leaders are making sure that Haiti stays clean without Coronavirus in the country.

“I am calling the Government officials and other agencies officials to keep their eyes on the tourists from the U.S. and other countries entering the country to make sure that they are not infected because Haiti is not ready for this mess.”, said Mr. Werley Nortreus, a political leader and founder of Vanyan Sòlda Ayiti and A New Haiti Before 2045 (ANHB 2045).

The number of people in the Caribbean who have contracted the novel coronavirus continues to grow with the Pan American Health Organization confirming Friday an additional positive case in the Dominican Republic and eight new ones in the French overseas territories, bringing the total to 12.

“The diagnosis is biological so the laboratory has to confirm the diagnosis. We don’t have the test. We, the medical personnel, have not received any instructions at all with regards to detecting coronavirus cases, nor how to protect ourselves. We are seeing (in the news) all the equipment other countries have to deal with the coronavirus, their doctors, their technicians are well equipped. We, on the other hand, have never received anything that would allow us to face the possible arrival of coronavirus in the country.”, said health officials and Doctors in Haiti.

French Guiana is reporting five cases of COVID-19 while Martinique confirmed two cases. The cases are in addition to three previous cases — two in St. Martin and one in Saint Barthelemy — that had been previously reported along with a previously confirmed case in the Dominican Republic. No information was released on whether any of the 12 patients have died.

As the Coronavirus death toll going up in Asia countries, Italy, the United States, and others, some leaders in Haiti, including Mr. Werley Nortreus are making sure there are no Coronavirus cases in Haiti and the Caribbean.

Werley Nortreus is a musician, author, entrepreneur, writer, and politician from Haiti. He graduated from business and political science school and he has contributed towards political movements and activism like Haitians Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter movements for years. He is the founder of a political movement and a political party called Haitians Lives Matter and Vanyan Sòlda Ayiti. After years of experience in writing and journalism, he becomes a news contributor for radio stations and tv stations as well.

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Standards & Digital Transformation – Good Governance in a Digital Age

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In celebration of World Standards Day 2021, celebrated on 14 October every year, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is pleased to announce the launch of a brochure, “Standards and Digital Transformation: Good Governance in the Digital Age”.

In the spirit of this year’s World Standards Day theme “Shared Vision for a Better World”, the brochure provides insights into the key drivers of the digital transformation and its implications for sustainable development, particularly people, prosperity and planet. Noting the rapid pace of change of the digital transformation, with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an unanticipated accelerator, the brochure highlights the role of standards in digital transformation governance. It further considers the principles necessary for guiding the collaborative development of standards in the digital technology landscape to ensure that the technologies remain human-centered and aligned to the goals of sustainability.

This year’s World Standards Day theme highlights the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) representing a shared vision for peace and prosperity, for people and planet. Every SDG is a call for action, but we can only get there if we work together, and international standards offer practical solutions we can all stand behind.

This brochure is a summary of a publication set to be released in November 2021.

Download it here.

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Human Rights

UN: Paraguay violated indigenous rights

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An indigenous community in Paraguay wait to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. WHO/PAHO

Paraguay’s failure to prevent the toxic contamination of indigenous people’s traditional lands by commercial farming violates their rights and their sense of “home”, the UN Human Rights Committee said in a landmark ruling on Wednesday. 

The Committee, which is made up of 18 independent experts from across the world, monitors countries’ adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  

Lands represent ‘home’ 

The decision on Paraguay (in Spanish) marked the first time it has affirmed that for indigenous people, “home” should be understood in the context of their special relationship with their territories, including their livestock, crops and way of life.  

“For indigenous peoples, their lands represent their home, culture and community. Serious environmental damages have severe impacts on indigenous people’s family life, tradition, identity and even lead to the disappearance of their community. It dramatically harms the existence of the culture of the group as a whole,” said Committee member Hélène Tigroudja. 

The decision stems from a complaint filed more than a decade ago on behalf of some 201 Ava Guarani people of the Campo Agua’e indigenous community, located in Curuguaty district in eastern Paraguay. 

The area where they live is surrounded by large commercial farms which produce genetically modified soybeans through fumigation, a process which involves the use of banned pesticides. 

Traditional life affected 

Fumigation occurred continuously for more than 10 years and affected the indigenous community’s whole way of life, including killing livestock, contaminating waterways and harming people’s health. 

The damage also had severe intangible repercussions, according to the UN committee.  The disappearance of natural resources needed for hunting, fishing and foraging resulted in the loss of traditional knowledge.  For example, ceremonial baptisms no longer take place as necessary materials no longer exist. 

“By halting such ceremonies, children are denied a rite crucial to strengthening their cultural identity,” the Committee said.  “Most alarmingly, the indigenous community structure is being eroded and disintegrated as families are forced to leave their land.” 

Toxic exposure 

The indigenous community brought the case to the Human Rights Committee after a lengthy and unsatisfactory administrative and judicial process in Paraguay’s courts. 

“More than 12 years after the victims filed their criminal complaint regarding the fumigation with toxic agrochemicals, to which they have continued to be exposed throughout this period, the investigations have not progressed in any meaningful way and the State party has not justified the delay,” the Committee said in its decision. 

Recommendations, reparations 

Members found Paraguay did not adequately monitor the fumigation and failed to prevent contamination, adding “this failure in its duty to provide protection made it possible for the large-scale, illegal fumigation to continue for many years, destroying all components of the indigenous people’s family life and home.”  

The Committee recommended that Paraguay complete the criminal and administrative proceedings against all parties responsible and make full reparation to the victims. 

The authorities are also urged to take all necessary measures, in close consultation with the indigenous community, to repair the environmental damage, and to work to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. 

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Development

Vaccination, Jobs, and Social Assistance are All Key to Reducing Poverty in Central Asia

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As the pace of economic recovery picks up, countries in Central Asia have an opportunity to return to pre-pandemic levels of poverty reduction – if they put in place the right policies. This was the overall message shared by World Bank economists today at a regional online event “Overcoming the Pandemic and Ending Poverty in Central Asia”.

In the early 2000s, Central Asian countries were among the world’s best performers in poverty reduction. Starting in 2009, however, the pace of progress began to slow and even stagnated in some of the countries. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted a region already struggling to generate inclusive growth and end extreme poverty. Now in the second year of the pandemic, poverty rates in Central Asia are falling again, but with high inflation and low vaccination rates, the poor and the most vulnerable continue to suffer from food insecurity, uncertainty, and limited employment opportunities, especially for women.

“Central Asia is recovering from the first shocks of the pandemic, albeit in uneven ways,” said Will Seitz, World Bank Senior Economist in Central Asia. “Migration and remittances, key drivers of poverty reduction in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, are quickly returning to 2019 levels. Labor markets are also recovering, and work disruptions are much less common. However, the region is yet to get on a stable poverty reduction path.”

Among policy priorities to reduce poverty, the World Bank is focused on three key areas: widespread vaccination, increasing employment and wages, and strengthening social assistance programs to support the most vulnerable. To support labor market recovery, the World Bank economists outlined short-term and medium-term measures, including the need to invest in green jobs and encouraging the creation and growth of firms.

It was also stressed that employment alone will not address all drivers of poverty, and strong safety nets are essential to protect the most vulnerable. Compared with other middle-income countries, Central Asian governments typically provide smaller shares of their populations with social assistance.

“Along with ensuring fair, broad access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines, Central Asian countries need to urgently address vaccination hesitancy, as it threatens to slow down the recovery,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia. “For every million people vaccinated, global GDP recovers on average nearly $8 billion. We are expecting advanced economies with relatively high vaccination rates to demonstrate much better growth rates than developing economies with low vaccination rates.”

Among the main reasons behind vaccine hesitancy in Central Asian countries are worries about vaccine contraindication and safety. While people with pre-existing health conditions in other countries are usually prioritized for vaccination, in the Central Asia region they are more likely to be hesitant to get vaccinated. Providing the public with accurate information on the safety of vaccines and encouraging people with pre-existing health conditions to be vaccinated may help address hesitancy issues.

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