Washington Post: Coronavirus vaccines are finally reaching poor countries, but some can’t cover the cost of administering them

Washington Post: Coronavirus vaccines are finally reaching poor countries, but some can’t cover the cost of administering them. “Coronavirus vaccines have begun to trickle into some of the world’s poorest nations, in large part thanks to Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to distribute vaccine doses equitably. But once doses arrive on airport tarmacs, it is up to each country to finance distribution, including the salaries of health-care workers to administer the shots. In many cases, that funding isn’t readily available.”

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action

Arizona State University: Volunteers help SolarSPELL get back in action. “Volunteers from the Phoenix Peace Corps Association and the Arizona State University community came together April 3 to build dozens of portable, digital SolarSPELL libraries. The small devices are powered by a solar panel connected to a rechargeable battery and a tiny computer built by Raspberry Pi. The small containers cast a Wi-Fi signal that allows any user to connect a smartphone, tablet or computer in areas with no telecommunciation infrastructure, and the libraries are loaded with relevant, localized educational information.”

Vox EU: Working from home in developing countries

Vox EU: Working from home in developing countries. “The ability to work from home, which has proved crucial to the resilience of labour markets during the Covid-19 pandemic, may have shifted employment patterns permanently. Data on this shift have thus far come largely from advanced economies. This column proposes a measure of the ability to work from home in low- and middle-income countries.”

Covid: Rich states ‘block’ vaccine plans for developing nations (BBC)

BBC: Covid: Rich states ‘block’ vaccine plans for developing nations. “Wealthy countries – including the UK – are blocking proposals to help developing nations increase their vaccine manufacturing capabilities, documents leaked to BBC Newsnight show. Several poorer countries have asked the World Health Organization to help them. But richer nations are pushing back on provisions in international law that would enable them to achieve this.”

EurekAlert: Internet connectivity is oxygen for research and development work

EurekAlert: Internet connectivity is oxygen for research and development work. “Fast and reliable internet access is fundamental for research and development activity around the world. Seamless connectivity is a privilege we often take for granted. But in developing nations, technological limitations can become stumbling blocks to efficient communication and cause significant disadvantages.”

COVID-19 vaccines: how to ensure Africa has access (Nature)

Nature: COVID-19 vaccines: how to ensure Africa has access. “Last month, a grand experiment was launched. Its aim? To speed up the development of COVID‑19 vaccines and make sure they are distributed equitably among higher- and lower-income countries. This welcome endeavour is called the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) initiative. It is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. As of 1 October, 167 countries have signed up, covering nearly two-thirds of the global population. More have expressed interest, according to Gavi.”

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.”