Arizona State University: COVID-19 models should take the unique conditions of sub-Saharan Africa into account

Arizona State University: COVID-19 models should take the unique conditions of sub-Saharan Africa into account. “COVID-19 models that predict the costs and benefits of lockdowns and other social distancing policies must be adapted for use in lower-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, according to findings by a team led by Arizona State University researchers.”

ReliefWeb: Google and FAO launch new Big Data tool for all

ReliefWeb: Google and FAO launch new Big Data tool for all. “Earth Map is an innovative and free-to-use Web-based tool to provide efficient, rapid, inexpensive and analytically cogent insights, drawn from satellites as well as [Food and Agriculture Organization]’s considerable wealth of agriculturally relevant data, with a few clicks on a computer. Earth Map has also been designed to empower and provide integrative synergies with the federated FAO’s Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform, a more comprehensive tool to provide Members, their partners and donors with the means to identify and execute highly-targeted rural development initiatives with multiple goals ranging from climate adaptation and mitigation to socio-economic resilience.”

HuffPost: Coronavirus-Linked Hunger Tied To 10,000 Child Deaths Each Month

HuffPost: Coronavirus-Linked Hunger Tied To 10,000 Child Deaths Each Month. “All around the world, the coronavirus and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, cutting off meager farms from markets and isolating villages from food and medical aid. Virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the United Nations shared with The Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal.”

The Conversation: Microfinance loans could spell disaster in the time of coronavirus

The Conversation: Microfinance loans could spell disaster in the time of coronavirus. “Microfinance programmes – small-scale lending programmes targeted at low-income households that normally fall through the cracks of formal lending systems – were supposed to provide the poor with the capital they need to open a street stall, invest in their farmland, or buy materials to make handicrafts. Up until the late 2000s, microfinance was hailed as a financial magic bullet by many. It would lift the world’s poor out of poverty and empower women. Only, it hasn’t quite turned out that way.”

New York Times: Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases

New York Times: Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases. “This spring, after the World Health Organization and UNICEF warned that the pandemic could spread swiftly when children gathered for shots, many countries suspended their inoculation programs. Even in countries that tried to keep them going, cargo flights with vaccine supplies were halted by the pandemic and health workers diverted to fight it. Now, diphtheria is appearing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.”

The Conversation: How the coronavirus increases terrorism threats in the developing world

The Conversation: How the coronavirus increases terrorism threats in the developing world. “As the coronavirus reaches developing countries in Africa and Asia, the pandemic will have effects beyond public health and economic activity. As the disease wreaks its havoc in areas poorly equipped to handle its spread, terrorism likely will increase there as well. We are political scientists who study the developing world and political conflict. Our recently published research identifies a potential link between the pandemic and an uptick in violence. We find that food insecurity – the lack of both financial and physical access to nutritious food, which leads to malnutrition and undernourishment in a population – makes citizens angry at their governments.”

AP: Virus spread feared where water is scarce around the world

AP: Virus spread feared where water is scarce around the world. “Violet Manuel hastily abandoned her uncle’s funeral and grabbed two empty containers when she heard a boy running down the dirt road shouting, ‘Water, water, water!’ The 72-year-old joined dozens of people seeking their daily ration in Zimbabwe’s densely populated town of Chitungwiza. ‘Social distancing here?’ Manuel asked tartly. She sighed with relief after getting her allotment of 40 liters (10.5 gallons) but worried about the coronavirus.”

Coronavirus: ‘One billion’ could become infected worldwide – report (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: ‘One billion’ could become infected worldwide – report. “One billion people could become infected with the coronavirus worldwide unless vulnerable countries are given urgent help, an aid group has warned. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said financial and humanitarian aid were needed to help slow the global spread of the virus. It said ‘fragile countries’ such as Afghanistan and Syria needed “urgent funding” to avoid a major outbreak.”

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus. “Pope Francis has started an emergency fund to help areas affected by the coronavirus in developing countries, the Vatican said on Monday. It said in a statement that the pope had designated $750,000 of funds at his disposal as an initial contribution. He has asked Church entities and dioceses to contribute as they can.”

PR Newswire: Hewlett Foundation, Packard Foundation, and Getty Images Champion Positive Visual Representation of Women with Expansion of the Images of Empowerment Collection (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: Hewlett Foundation, Packard Foundation, and Getty Images Champion Positive Visual Representation of Women with Expansion of the Images of Empowerment Collection (PRESS RELEASE). “As individuals around the world celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, they can use powerful, positive photographs from Getty Images that show women’s lives and their work in eleven countries. The newly expanded Images of Empowerment collection, created by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, features 2,000 high-quality, editorial images of women working, accessing and providing reproductive health information and services, and as active participants in their communities in Colombia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, and the United States.”

Phys .org: With 30,000 surveys, researchers build the go-to dataset for smallholder farms

Phys .org: With 30,000 surveys, researchers build the go-to dataset for smallholder farms . “Top-down projects for improving the lives of poor farmers were often unsuccessful because they didn’t systematically consider the diverse rural households survive and thrive. To tap this local knowledge, scientists and development agencies began surveying households to assure that research and development schemes were on target. But the surveys were not designed to be compared with one another, lacking what scientists call ‘interoperability’—meaning one organization’s household surveys could not be compared with another’s. For big-picture analysis, much of the data was of little use.”

CNET: Facebook invests in diverse array of projects in mission to connect the world

CNET: Facebook invests in diverse array of projects in mission to connect the world. “Facebook’s mission to connect the world has been part of the company’s message at MWC in Barcelona for many years now. But even though the show was canceled this year due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, the company is pressing ahead with its latest connectivity updates. On Tuesday, the company made a number of announcements about its many projects designed to bring affordable internet access to people in developing countries and rural regions.”

Phys .org: Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries

Phys .org: Wikipedia, a source of information on natural disasters biased towards rich countries. “As a source of information related to natural disasters, the authors show that on Wikipedia, there is a greater tendency to cover events in wealthy countries than in poor countries. By performing careful, large-scale analysis of automatic content, ‘we show how flood coverage in Wikipedia leans towards wealthy, English-speaking countries, particularly the USA and Canada,’ they claim in their work. ‘We also note that the coverage of flooding in low-income countries and in countries in South America, is substantially less than the coverage of flooding in middle-income countries,’ they add.”

Wired: A Remote Tanzanian Village Logs Onto the Internet

Wired: A Remote Tanzanian Village Logs Onto the Internet. “Over a week, engineers from Copenhagen-based company Bluetown erected an 80-foot Wi-Fi tower topped with shiny solar panels and a microwave link antenna. It connected to a fiber backhaul 15 miles away, creating a half-mile-wide hot spot with download speeds up to 10 Mbps—fast enough for Netflix. Villagers rented smartphones from the company and paid 50 cents per gigabyte for the data they used, just over 1 percent of the average monthly income. And just like that, life began to change.”