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New United Nations study finds digital payments to Ebola response workers saved lives

 

E money Transaction

By using digital payments to pay Ebola response workers, Sierra Leone massively cut payment times, avoiding large-scale strikes and ensuring a stable workforce to defeat Ebola. Sierra Leone’s experience shows the critical importance of preparing early for digital payments before crises hit.

 

 

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World Bank Launches $500 Million Insurance Fund to Fight Pandemics

           

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks during a panel discussion at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London, Thursday, May 12, 2016.  REUTERS/FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL

reuters.com - by David Lawder - May 20, 2016

The World Bank on Saturday said it was launching a $500 million, fast-disbursing insurance fund to combat deadly pandemics in poor countries, creating the world's first insurance market for pandemic risk. . . . 

. . . In the event of a pandemic outbreak, the facility will release funds quickly to affected poor countries and qualified international first-responder agencies. . . . 

. . . The so-called Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility will initially provide up to $500 million that can be disbursed quickly to fight a pandemic, with funds released once parametric triggers are met, based on the size, severity and spread of an outbreak.

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Report Calls for Sustained Funding for Global Health Emergencies

           

FILE - Laboratory technicians develop a technology to mass produce Ebola vaccine, Aug. 14, 2014.

voanews.com - by William Eagle - May 7, 2016

The United States remains by far the most important source of funds for medical research and development for scores of diseases well-known to the developing world.

According to the latest available data from the independent research group Policy Cures, global donors contributed over $2 billion in public funding for research into what the medical community calls neglected diseases. The U.S. government accounted for over 70 percent of the amount.

But a new report from the Global Health Technologies Coalition, a group of nonprofits that promotes creation of vaccines and other tools to improve global health, says that over the past five years, funding has largely been flat. This is in contrast to the first decade of the 21st century, which saw a doubling of financial support. . . .

. . . The GHTC report asks the U.S. government to encourage private sector involvement in R&D with prizes, small-business innovation awards, tax credits and other incentives. It also recommends improved cooperation among the seven U.S. agencies involved in global health.

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What everyone needs to know about China’s debt load

It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

Image: It needs a bit of work. (Reuters/Chance Chan)

qz.com - May 4th 2016 - Matt Phillips

Few have watched the development of the Chinese economy as closely as Arthur Kroeber.

His new book, published last month, is a wide-ranging and authoritative primer on the history and development of China’s unique blend of decentralized economic authoritarianism.

It’s an idiosyncratic system, developed in defiance of the advice of western-trained economists in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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President Koroma Opens West Africa’s Biggest Palm Oil Refinery In Pujehun

The President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma  has official opened the largest palm oil refinery  in the country and in West Africa at Sahn-Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

SOCFIN Company has invested over $US 130 million to reach this stage, planting 12,319Ha of hybrid oil palm trees and building a mill currently with a 30t/hr of Fruit Bunch(FFB) capacity and able to increased to 60t/hr
President Koroma says Sierra Leone is now for business.

 

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Inflation Increases to 8.86 Percent in January 2016

The annual inflation rate increased in January 2016 to 8.86 percent from 8.85 percent in December 2015, the statistics agency has stated in a release. The depreciation of the Leone has been the major reason for the increase in prices of all the commodities in the consumer pricing index across the country.
The annual rate of inflation increased from 10.40 percent in December to 10.67 percent in January in the Northern Region. In the Western Region, it decreased from 8.72 percent in December to 8.49 percent in January. In the East inflation climbed from 9.47 percent to 9.79 percent and in the South from 8.14 percent to 8.42 percent.
Monday March 07, 2016

http://awoko.org/2016/03/07/sierra-leone-news-inflation-increases-to-8-86-percent-in-january-2016-2/

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Chamber of Commerce Starts Trade Fair March 30

The Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is holding its annual trade fair at the Siaka Stevens Stadium from March 30 to April 25, Allan Metzger, Business Development Officer of the Chamber said in an interview last Saturday.

The trade fair will attract businesses from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Liberia and Guinea. Local businesses and companies like the Banks, Insurance companies and those in clothing and textiles will participate in the trade fair. Milla Group, Shankerdas will all have booths in the stadium, Mr. Metzger said.

In November-December the Chamber held a post Ebola International and national trade fair that attracted mostly local businesses. “Ebola is over so we are getting back to our normal timetable of hosting the trade fair in March  April,” Mr. Metzger said.

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Salone Establishes Small and Medium Enterprise Development Association

President Koroma launched the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Association last Thursday at the Miatta Conference Hall in Freetown to promote SMEs development in the country.

In his address, President Koroma said the aim is to provide credit facilities to micro, small and medium enterprises at single digit interest rate and with no demand for collateral. High interest rates and demand for collateral have kept many small businesses run especially by women from accessing finance to grow their business, he said.

The UK Department For International Development (DFID) has provided a £5m budget to support 29,400 petty traders affected by Ebola through a micro credit scheme. The Ministry of Trade and Industry is compiling the list.
Micro credit has been a useful method to empower women economically after the 11-year war that ended in 2002. There are several examples that show how women have grown businesses from a few thousands to millions of Leones. It comes as no surprise for some that government and NGOs are using it as part of the post ebola strategy to develop SMEs.
Monday March 21, 2016

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The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren’t. That’s a really big deal

A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

Image: A general view on the chimneys of the Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung, northern Taiwan, 17 November 2015. EPA/DAVID CHANG

washingtonpost.com - March 16, 2016 - Chris Mooney

Roughly a year ago, the International Energy Agency announced a wonky yet nonetheless significant development. Looking at data for the year 2014, the agency found that although the global economy grew — by 3.4 percent that year — greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy (their largest source) had not. They had stalled at about 32.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, just as in 2013.

The agency called this a “decoupling” of growth from carbon dioxide emissions, and noted that it was the “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.” For decades prior to 2014, economic growth had pretty much always meant more pollution of the atmosphere, and a worsening climate problem.

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