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World Food Program Warns: 41 Million People at Famine’s Door

World Food Program Warns There Are 41 Million People at Famine’s Door

June 22 (EIRNS)–The World Food Program today issued a warning headlined, “41 Million People Now at Imminent Risk of Famine.” The UN WFP press release quotes Executive Director David Beasley, who addressed the WFP Board on June 21, “I am heartbroken at what we’re facing in 2021. We now have four countries where famine-like conditions are present. Meanwhile, 41 million people are literally knocking on famine’s door. If you look at the numbers, it’s just tragic—these are real people with real names. I am extremely concerned.”

The four countries with famine-like conditions are Ethiopia, Madagascar, South Sudan and Yemen, where people are experiencing famine-like conditions, which is phase 5, “famine/catastrophe,” on the IPS acute food insecurity index from 1 to 5.  Nigeria and Burkina Faso also have people in this worst category.

The 41 million people are across 43 countries. “The slightest shock will push them over the precipice. This number has risen from 27 million in 2019,” said the release.

Further from the release, “Conflict, climate change and economic shocks have been driving the rises in hunger, but pressures on food security are being compounded by soaring prices for basic foods this year. Global corn prices have soared almost 90% year-on-year, while wheat prices are up almost 30% over the same period.

“In many countries, currency depreciation is adding to these pressures and driving prices even higher. This in turn is stoking hunger in countries such as Lebanon, Nigeria, Sudan, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

“This year, the UN World Food Program is undertaking the biggest operation in its history, targeting 139 million people this year.” Beasley asks for $6 billion. “We need funding and we need it now.”


Africa Enters 3rd Wave; Equitable Vaccine Distribution Could Have Prevented It

Africa Entering Third Wave; Equitable Vaccine Distribution Could Have Prevented It

June 21 (EIRNS) — Africa has officially entered its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in less than two years — having been struck with two waves in 2020, and now going into another Winter season — with little relief in sight, and new more-virulent variants to deal with. “New cases, continent-wide are up by nearly 30% in the past week, and deaths are up by 15%,” said WHO Africa Regional Director, Doctor Matshidiso Moeti, in her weekly press conference June 17. “The threat of a third wave is real and rising.” A meager 1% of the African population has been vaccinated, due to the massive logistics barriers involved, along with lack of vaccine accessibility and financing.
            The land-locked nation of Uganda is the latest crisis spot– as cases in the nation of nearly 50 million have shot up over 131% in the last week– with Namibia, DR Congo and Angola each showing lesser spikes. Many more of the victims are now younger, and a much higher percentage of them now require oxygen as part of treatment. Uganda’s hospitals are nearing their limits, and the nation has put out requests to neighboring states for emergency relief supplies.
            The other nation again in the unwanted spotlight is South Africa, where President Cyril Ramaphosa was forced to make a national address on June 15, as he once again declared a Level 3 lockdown. “A third wave of infections is upon us,” the president said. In just the past two weeks, “the average number of daily new infections has doubled. Then, we were recording around 3,700 daily infections. Over the last seven days, we have recorded an average of 7,500 daily infections. Hospital admissions due to COVID-19 over the last 14 days are 59% higher than the preceding 14 days.”
            Again reflecting the increased threat from variants, Ramaphosa said, “The average number of people who die from COVID-19 each day has increased by 48%  from 535 two weeks ago to 791 in the past seven days.” [emphasis added] Although South Africa responded effectively and built emergency capacity last year, four of the most populous provinces are officially in a third wave, with Gauteng — the most urban and populous — accounting for nearly two-thirds of new cases in the past week. “The increase in infections … is now faster and steeper,” he said, and “within a matter of days, it is likely that the number of new cases in Gauteng will surpass the peak of the second wave.” And Winter is just starting.
            South Africa’s vaccine rollout has been severely frustrated, first by the denial of AstraZeneca vaccines from India (as they faced their own crisis), and further by the complications around the Johnson & Johnson version, either one of which could have prevented this crisis. Vaccines are “the one statistic that provides a clear reason for hope,” Ramaphosa said. Last year (during the second wave), over hundreds of healthcare workers had become infected, as the “South African variant” was first encountered. “In the last seven days,” he said, “only 64 health care workers have been infected.”
            By the end of the week, South Africa is expected to produce its own Johnson & Johnson vaccines. 


Diplomacy by Example: Ibero-America Shares Its Vaccine Production

The first 400,000 doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine produced by Argentina and packaged by Mexico were delivered by the Mexican Air Force over the weekend to Bolivia, Paraguay and Belize: 150,000 each for the first two; 100,000 for the latter, much smaller country. Another 811,000 doses, now ready for injection, were shipped back on commercial airlines to Argentina, for its use. Mexican Foreign Ministry officials report some 500,000 vaccines should be shipped to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala “shortly,” and others after that.


Accompanying the vaccines to La Paz, Mexican Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights declared in a joint press statement with Bolivian Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta,  that “we are one people, one community,” and we are most happy that we are able to help. Mayta agreed that “we are a single brotherhood.” He thanked Mexico, assuring Delgado that when Mexico needs help,Bolivia will be there for Mexicans, too.
Mexico’s Deputy Foreign Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maximilian Reyes Zúñiga, reported in a June 13 {El Economista} oped he headlined “Latin American Solidarity; A Diplomacy of Results,” that Mexico will be sharing the Chinese Cansino vaccine which it is preparing to produce and its own “Patria” vaccine, now in Phase II trials, with the rest of the region. He then delivered a pointed message to those like the Biden administration and other G-7 nations who have been ignored the needs of other nations:

“We are not just fulfilling a commitment made. This also entails our vision of solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean, a diplomacy of results which places the common good before the egotistical interests which often dominate international relations. By helping others, we help ourselves. Mexico trusts in the power of leading by example, and that our actions will benefit not only the people who receive the vaccines, but that they will be a powerful image so that other countries do the same and also act in solidarity.”

The need for a world health system will be discussed at the upcoming Schiller Institute conference.

For the Common Good of all People, not the Rules Benefiting the Few!

International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

RSVP today →


World Food Program Director David Beasley Sounds the Alarm on Famine in Ethiopia

On June 10, David Beasley, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program (WFP), confirmed distressing new information that although it is are “deploying more than 180 staff and increasing food distributions to reach 1.4 million people,” these are less than half of the estimated 4 million people in the Ethiopian region of Tigray facing severe hunger. Of those, 350,000 are threatened with famine, representing the highest number in a single country over the past decade, the World Food Program said in a statement.

Beasley emphasized that “the brutal reality for our staff in Tigray is that for every family we reach with life-saving food, there are countless more especially in rural areas whom we cannot reach. We have appealed for humanitarian access but are still being blocked by armed groups…. Our teams tell me that in 53 villages they visited, 50% of mothers and almost a quarter of children they’ve been screening are malnourished. Millions of people urgently need food. Without it, many of them will die.”

According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis, published by the UN and aid partners on June 10, “the conflict, which began last November between central government forces and regional forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, is the key cause of acute food security in Tigray,” The fighting has destroyed infrastructure—especially farms—killed or scattered livestock, and has caused massive displacement of the population.

Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Henrietta Fore stated that “without humanitarian access to scale up our response, an estimated 33,000 severely malnourished children in currently inaccessible areas in Tigray are at high risk of death. The world cannot permit that to happen.”  She also addressed a severe situation in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique in her June 11 briefing. UNICEF Press Release

Beasley appealed to world leaders, saying that “three things are needed to prevent hunger from claiming millions of lives in Tigray; a ceasefire, unimpeded access for WFP and partners to all areas, and the money to expand our operations to meet the growing numbers of people who desperately need emergency food assistance.” WFP Statement


The upcoming two-day Schiller Institute International June 26-27 conference is part of a continuous process to build a stronger and stronger anti-Malthusian alliance worldwide, incorporating a network of people who understand the profound importance of a Renaissance of Classical culture.

For the Common Good of all People, not the Rules Benefiting the Few!

International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

RSVP today →


WHO Director General: G7 Health Declaration Is Insufficient

The World Health Organization (W.H.O) Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, applauded the intention of the Carbis Bay Declaration on Health released today by the G7 meeting near Carbis Bay in Cornwall, UK, but stated that it is insufficient to address the current pandemic crisis.

The Declaration signers pledged one billion doses of vaccine to the poorest nations; to decrease the approval time for new vaccines to 100 days, and to increase capabilities for the world to track and sequence new diseases, among other initiatives.

Dr. Ghebreyesus stressed, “‘Many other countries are now facing a surge in cases – and they are facing it without vaccines. We are in the race of our lives, but it’s not a fair race, and most countries have barely left the starting line. We welcome the generous announcements about donations of vaccines and thank leaders. But we need more, and we need them faster…Together we need to build on the significant scientific and collaborative response to the Covid-19 pandemic and find common solutions to address many of the gaps identified.’” He also emphasized that (even though it’s too little, too late) 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by mid-2022.

His statements were underscored by Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, who said this weekend: “‘We have reached a grim milestone in this pandemic: There are already more dead from COVID-19 in 2021 than in all of last year. Without urgent action, this devastation will continue. Equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines represents the clearest pathway out of this pandemic for all of us — children included. 

“UNICEF thanks G7 member states for their significant pledges and continued support. However, much work remains to continue to ramp up both the amount and the pace of supply to the rest of the world, because when it comes to ending the COVID-19 pandemic, our best interests and our best natures align. This crisis will not be over until it is over for everyone.’” UNICEF Press Release


The upcoming two-day Schiller Institute International June 26-27 conference is part of a continuous process to build a stronger and stronger anti-Malthusian alliance worldwide, incorporating a network of people who understand the profound importance of a Renaissance of Classical culture.

For the Common Good of all People, not the Rules Benefiting the Few!

International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

RSVP today →


China Constructs a Mobile Covid-testing Lab in Ten Hours, Capable of One Million Tests/Day

The Chinese take their public health pretty seriously. When the coronavirus pops up in a locale, certainly there is quarantining, and then tracing all the contacts. But mass testing in a few days, whether of a confined neighborhood or of a metropolis of millions, is par for the course.  

Guangzhou, a city of 18 million, found their first case of the highly contagious delta variant two weeks ago. Prior to that, they had been averaging about 2 new cases/day of the regular strain, and zero cases on May 24. But on May 26, there was a ‘spike’ of 14 cases, and the public health authorities sprang into action. From May 26 to June 7, about 29 million tests were conducted, where 119 people were found to be infected, seven of which were asymptomatic cases. They are confident that they can surround and finish off the invading enemy virus. 

Their massive testing capacity, over two million tests per day, was achieved with the aid of a new, quick-to-assemble mobile testing lab, capable of a million tests per day. The “Huo-Yan Air Lab” can be flown in, transported on a truck, and erected/inflated in ten hours. (Note the time-lapse video) The P2-level lab has an automated nucleic acid extraction robot. 

Developed by BGI and Etopia, it has already been exported to a dozen countries, including Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Togo, Benin, Gabon, and Kazakhstan. BGI first used an inflatable structure for fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. “Huo-Yan” means “fire-eye.” It refers to the power of the legendary Monkey King to detect evil hidden beneath covers – or, in this case, the presence of the coronavirus. A spray is being developed to ‘concretize’ the walls, in case it is desired to make the temporary structure more permanent. The same team is working on an inflatable COVID hospital ward design.

Meeting and beating a crisis can be an inspiration.

The required measures to defeat the enemy virus globally will be discussed at the upcoming international Schiller Institute conference.

For the Common Good of all People, not the Rules Benefiting the Few!

International Schiller Institute/ICLC online conference, June 26/ 27, 2021

RSVP today →


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