By Gistflash News
Aug 23, 2021
Developing countries are expected to receive $275 billion dollars out of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $650 billion dollars Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to be distributed among member countries based on their quota shares in the IMF.
Ms Kristalina Georgieva, IMF’s Managing Director, said this in a statement on Monday, in Washington DC, while announcing the commencement of the distribution of the SDRs.
According to her, of the 275 billion dollars, low-income countries will receive about $21 billion dollars, which is equivalent to as much as six per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in some cases.
She described the SDR allocation as a critical component of the IMF’s broader effort to support countries through the pandemic, which includes: $117 billion dollars in new financing for 85 countries.
Others are debt service relief for 29 low-income countries and policy advice and capacity development support to over 175 countries to help secure a strong and more sustainable recovery.
Described as the largest allocation of SDRs in history, Georgieva said that the $650 billion dollars allocation was a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat the unprecedented crisis.
“The SDR allocation will provide additional liquidity to the global economic system by supplementing countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt.
“Countries can use the space provided by the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the crisis.
“SDRs are a precious resource and the decision on how best to use them rests with our member countries. For SDRs to be deployed for the maximum benefit of member countries and the global economy, those decisions should be prudent and well-informed,” the IMF managing director said.
Georgieva added that to support countries and help ensure transparency and accountability, the IMF was providing a framework for assessing the macroeconomic implications of the new allocation, its statistical treatment and governance, and how it might affect debt sustainability.
The fund would also provide regular updates on all SDR holdings, transactions and trading – including a follow-up report on the use of SDRs in two years’ time, she said.
“To magnify the benefits of this allocation, the IMF is encouraging voluntary channeling of some SDRs from countries with strong external positions, to countries most in need.
“Over the past 16 months, some members have already pledged to lend $24 billion dollars, including $15 billion dollars from their existing SDRs, to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which provides concessional loans to low-income countries.
“This is just a start, and the IMF will continue to work with our members to build on this effort”, Georgieva said.
She added that the IMF was also engaging with its member countries on the possibility of a new Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which could use channeled SDRs to help the most vulnerable countries with structural transformation, including confronting climate-related challenges.
According to her, another possibility could be to channel SDRs to support lending by multilateral development banks.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.
The SDR is not a currency but a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members and as such could provide a country with liquidity.
It is defined by a basket of currencies that include the U.S. dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen and the British Pound.
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake hits Greek island of Crete
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
A magnitude 5.8 strong quake hit Greece’s Crete island on Monday, according to the Geodynamics Institute of the National Observatory of Athens.
The tremor’s epicentre was located at a depth of 10 km, some 25 km south of the city of Heraklion, the capital of Crete island, while aftershocks up to 4.3 magnitude have followed, according to Greek scientists.
Material damage has been reported, with no injuries until now, local officials told Greek national news agency AMNA.
Earlier, the Euro Mediterranean Seismological Centre put the quake’s magnitude at 6.2, which was later revised to 6.0.
WHO investigators seeking COVID-19 origin going back to China
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching a new investigation into the origins of COVID-19, months after an earlier probe ended without drawing firm conclusions, according to a report published.
WHO was putting together a team of some 20 scientists, who will be charged with finding new evidence in China and other locales, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The group will examine whether the virus emerged from a laboratory, a theory that has been angrily rejected by China.
In December 2020, WHO investigators began visits to Wuhan, China, where the first known outbreak of the virus took place.
But their March 2021 report said they had gotten insufficient information from Chinese scientists to answer key questions about COVID-19’s origin.
In August, U.S. intelligence agencies issued a separate report saying they also could not make firm conclusions about COVID-19’s origins.
Florida Gov. appoints Nigerian-American, Joseph Ladapo Surgeon-General
By Gistflash News
Sept 25, 2021
Ron DeSantis, Florida Governor, U.S. has appointed a Nigerian-American, Dr Joseph Ladapo, as Florida Surgeon-General and Secretary of the Department of Health.
DeSantis in a statement posted on the Florida Department of Health website, stated that he was pleased to announce Ladapo for the position.
“I am pleased to announce that Ladapo will lead the Florida department of health as our state’s next surgeon-general
“Ladapo comes to us by way of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, with a superb background.”
According to him, Ladapo has had both a remarkable academic and medical career with a strong emphasis in health policy research.
The governor said: ” Ladapo will bring great leadership to the department of health, ” thanking both Dr Scott Rivkees and Dr Shamarial Roberson for their hard work on behalf of all Floridians.
Lieutenant-Governor, Jeanette Nuñez described Ladapo’s as, “an excellent choice to serve as our next surgeon general.
“Ladapo has impeccable credentials and a strong vision to effectively serve the people of Florida at the helm of our public health agency.
“Through his service to our state, we will continue Florida’s work to advance our public health goals,” Nuñez said.
Ladapo said he is honored to have been chosen by DeSantis to serve as Florida’s next surgeon-general.
“We must make health policy decisions rooted in data and not in fear.
“From California, I have observed the different approaches taken by governors across the country and I have been impressed by DeSantis’ leadership and determination,” he said.
The new surgeon-general said he was impressed by DeSantis’ leadership to ensure that Floridians were afforded all opportunities to maintain their health and wellness, while preserving their freedoms as Americans.
“It is a privilege to join his team and serve the people of Florida,” he said.
Ladapo was recently granted a professorship at the University of Florida (UF) College of Medicine.
Prior to joining UF, he served as an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),caring for hospitalised patients.
He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, who also holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
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