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via kz.usembassy.gov09/25/2020

Consul General Meyer: Taking Actions to Counter Human Trafficking Can Improve Kazakhstan's International Reputation - US Embassy and Consulate in Kazakhstan

This article first appeared in the Shymkent-based Ontustik print edition in Kazakh on September 17, 2020, and was republished on Otyrar and Baq.kz news sites.  The United States is committed to ending modern slavery worldwide.  We remain steadfast in declaring that there is no excuse for human trafficking and that governments must take bold action in order ...

via republicworld09/09/2020

EAM Jaishankar holds talks with Kyrgyz and Tajik counterpart on sidelines of SCO meeting - Republic World - Republic World

Stay informed with today’s latest news from India & around the world. Get all the breaking news & current Indian news on politics, sports and entertainment only on Republic World. We provide the most in-depth coverage of top national news with timely breaking of all the recent news on politics, sports & entertainment

via urdupoint09/06/2020

Russian Specialist Says Tajikistan's Official Statistics on COVID-19 Cases Reflect Reality - UrduPoint News

The official statistics of recorded cases of the coronavirus infection in Tajikistan reflect the real epidemiological situation in the country, Aleksandr Semenov, the head of a mission of Russian specialists sent to the Central Asian country, said on Sunday at a briefing.In late August, the Russian ..

via valdaiclub08/25/2020

Global Financial Architecture and the COVID Crisis - Valdai Discussion Club

After every major economic crisis, the global financial architecture changes markedly. The COVID-19 crisis will not be an exception. The current expert discussions are largely focused on a possible shift towards de-globalisation processes, the strengthening of regionalism and the role of nation-states.

via thepointsguy08/21/2020

Ready to visit Asia? Only the Maldives will welcome you with open arms - The Points Guy

As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year. Asia has been at the forefront of the coronavirus …

via urdupoint08/14/2020

Latest on Coronavirus - UrduPoint News

The death toll from the coronavirus infection in the world topped 761,000, over 21 million cases of infection were detected, and over 13 million of those patients were cured, according to the US-based Johns Hopkins University, which tracks and compiles data from federal and local authorities, media ..

via menafn09/18/2020

Azerbaijan on Kazakhstan's list of 'safe' countries in terms of COVID-19 threat - MENAFN.COM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 18

By Nargiz Sadikhova – Trend:

Proceeding from the decree of the Kazakh chief sanitary doctor, certain countries, namely, Azerbaijan, China, Thailand, Mongolia, Malaysia, Egypt, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Belarus, as well as the city of Hong Kong, were assigned to the 'first category' of restrictive measur

via jamestown.org09/14/2020

Russia's Kavkaz 2020: International Participation and Regional Security Implications - The Jamestown Foundation

Despite some disruptions to this year’s military training schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (see EDM, April 21, 22), the Russian Armed Forces are preparing to hold their annual capstone strategic-operational exercise on September 15–26. “Kavkaz 2020” (“Caucasus 2020”) will feature large-scale drills spread across the southern Astrakhan region, Prudboi, Ashuluk, Kapustin Yar, Nikolo-Aleksandrovskii and several air-training grounds. According to …

via arabnews09/05/2020

Brazil's President Bolsonaro rapped for stirring doubt on COVID-19 vaccine - Arab News

SAO PAULO: Critics of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are again speaking out against the leader’s stance on the coronavirus pandemic, this time rejecting his view that vaccination for the virus shouldn’t be mandatory. Bolsonaro’s first such comments came Monday, when he told a supporter, “No one can force anyone to get a vaccine.” He repeated it Thursday night during a live

via dnd.pk08/30/2020

How did COVID-19 impact the socio-economic situation of Central Asia? - DND

Researched by Ulvi Ahmedli Table of Contents AbstractIntroductionImpact on unemploymentSocial impactEconomic shrinkGovernment’s reactionConclusionReferences Abstract The pandemic of COVID-19 has challenged the global economy unexpectedly. It needs to find a way to cure the virus, the date of finding a vaccine is not known. Even finding the vaccine doesn’t mean the end of the pandemic, the […]

via who.int08/24/2020

172 countries and multiple candidate vaccines engaged in COVID-19 vaccine Global Access Facility - World Health Organization

Nine CEPI-supported candidate vaccines are part of the COVAX initiative, with a further nine candidates under evaluation, and procurement conversations on-going with additional producers not currently receiving research and development (R&D) funding through COVAX – giving COVAX the largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in the world80 potentially self-financing countries have submitted non-binding expressions of interest to the Gavi-coordinated COVAX Facility, joining 92 low- and middle-income economies that are eligible to be supported by the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC)Goal of bringing the pandemic under control via equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines needs urgent, broadscale commitment and investment from countries172 economies are now engaged in discussions to potentially participate in COVAX, a global initiative aimed at working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved. COVAX currently has the world’s largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio - including nine candidate vaccines, with a further nine under evaluation and conversations underway with other >COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) – working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower->In order to be able to secure enough doses of vaccines to protect the most vulnerable populations, such as health workers and the elderly, the next step for the partnership is to confirm potential self-financing participants’ intent to participate by 31 August and to turn these into binding commitments to join the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX Facility) by 18th of September, with first upfront payments to follow thereafter, and no later than 9th of October 2020.“Equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine is the key to beating the virus and paving the way for recovery from the pandemic,” said Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden. “This cannot be a race with a few winners, and the COVAX Facility is an important part of the solution – making sure all countries can benefit from access to the world’s largest portfolio of candidates and fair and equitable distribution of vaccine doses.”The COVAX Facility is a Gavi-coordinated pooled procurement mechanism for new COVID-19 vaccines, through which COVAX will ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for each participating economy, using an allocation framework currently being formulated by WHO. The COVAX Facility will do this by pooling buying power from participating economies and providing volume guarantees across a range of promising vaccine candidates, allowing those vaccine manufacturers whose expertise is essential to large scale production of the new vaccines, to make early, at-risk investments in manufacturing capacity – providing participating countries and economies with the best chance at rapid access to doses of a successful COVID-19 vaccine. The success of COVAX hinges not only on countries signing up to the COVAX Facility, but also filling key funding gaps for both COVAX R&D work and a mechanism to support participation of lower-income economies in the COVAX Facility. “COVID-19 is an unprecedented global health challenge that can only be met with unprecedented cooperation between governments, researchers, manufacturers and multilateral partners,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “By pooling resources and acting in solidarity through the ACT Accelerator and the COVAX Facility, we can ensure that once a vaccine is available for COVID-19, it’s available equitably to all countries.”CEPI is leading COVAX vaccine research and development work, which aims to develop three safe and effective vaccines which can be made available to countries participating in the COVAX Facility. Nine candidate vaccines are currently being supported by CEPI; seven of which are currently in clinical trials. Governments, vaccine manufacturers (in addition to their own R&D), organizations and individuals have committed US$ 1.4 billion towards vaccine R&D so far, but an additional US$1 billion is urgently needed to continue to move the portfolio forward. A further nine candidates vaccines which complement the current CEPI portfolio are currently being evaluated for inclusion in COVAX.  Furthermore, COVAX will consider procuring vaccines that complement the portfolio from any producer in the world; conversations are already underway with a number of additional manufacturers not receiving R&D support from CEPI to procure their vaccines if they are successful. Maximizing the portfolio of vaccines increases the probability of success as individual vaccines historically have a high failure rate.“In the scramble for a vaccine, countries can act alone – creating a few winners, and many losers - or they can come together to participate in COVAX, an initiative which is built on enlightened self-interest but also equity, leaving no country behind,” said Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI. “Only by taking a global view can we protect those most at risk around the world from the terrible effects of this disease. COVAX can deliver the vaccines that could end the pandemic, but it needs countries to step forward both to join the COVAX Facility, and also to address the serious funding shortfalls, including for R&D. The decisions that are taken now about COVID-19 vaccines have the power to change our future. We must be courageous and ambitious in striving for a multilateral solution.”A collaboration between Serum Institute of India (SII), Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced earlier this month will ensure up to 100 million doses of AstraZeneca or Novavax’s candidate vaccines, if successful, will be available to low- and middle-income economies through the COVAX Facility at just US$ 3 per dose. The arrangement also provides an option to secure additional doses if COVAX sees a need for it. Separate agreements between Gavi, CEPI and AstraZeneca, announced in June, guarantee a further 300 million doses of their candidate vaccine, if successful, for the COVAX Facility.In addition, in June Gavi launched the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a financing instrument aimed at supporting the participation of 92 lower and middle income economies in the COVAX Facility. The COVAX AMC has raised more than US$ 600 million against an initial target of securing US$ 2 billion seed funding from sovereign donors as well as philanthropy and the private sector, needed by the end of 2020. Funding the COVAX AMC will be critical to ensuring ability to pay is not a barrier to accessing COVID-19 vaccines, a situation which would leave the majority of the world unprotected, with the pandemic and its impact continuing unabated.  80 higher-income economies, which would finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, have so far submitted Expressions of Interest ahead of the 31 of August deadline for confirmation of intent to participate. They will partner with 92 low- and middle-income countries that will be supported by the AMC if it meets its funding targets. Together, this group of 172 countries represents more than 70% of the world’s population. Among the group are representatives from every continent and more than half of the world’s G20 economies.“The momentum we are witnessing behind this unprecedented global effort means there could be light at the end of the tunnel: A vaccine is our best route to ending the acute phase of the pandemic and the COVAX effort is the best way to get there,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “For higher-income countries it represents a win-win: not only will you be guaranteed access to the world’s largest portfolio of vaccines, you will also be negotiating as part of a global consortium, bringing down prices and ensuring truly global access. Signing up to the COVAX Facility gives each country its best chance at protecting the most vulnerable members of their populations – which in turn gives the world its best chance at mitigating the toll this pandemic has taken on individuals, communities and the global economy. To make this end-to-end vision a reality, we need countries to make end-to-end commitments: funding R&D, signing up to the Facility, and supporting the COVAX AMC.”The COVAX Facility is coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and forms a key part of COVAX – the vaccines pillar of the ACT Accelerator, a ground-breaking global collaboration involving vaccine manufacturers to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines. The overall aim of COVAX is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world. It will achieve this by sharing the risks associated with vaccine development, and where necessary investing in manufacturing upfront so vaccines can be deployed at scale as soon as they are proven to be safe and effective, and pooling procurement and purchasing power to achieve sufficient volumes to end the acute phase of the pandemic by 2021.The goal of COVAX is by the end of 2021 to deliver two billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that have passed regulatory approval and/or WHO prequalification. These vaccines will be offered equally to all participating countries, proportional to their populations, initially prioritising healthcare workers then expanding to cover vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Further doses will then be made available based on country need, vulnerability and COVID-19 threat. The COVAX Facility will also maintain a buffer of doses for emergency and humanitarian use, including dealing with severe outbreaks before they spiral out of control.  ---------------------------------------------Notes to editorsThe full list of CEPI-supported candidate vaccines is as follows:Inovio, United States of America (Phase I/II)Moderna, United States of America (Phase III)CureVac, Germany (Phase I)Institut Pasteur/Merck/Themis, France/ United States of America /Austria (Preclinical)AstraZeneca/University of Oxford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Phase III)University of Hong Kong, China (Preclinical)Novavax, United States of America (Phase I/II)Clover Biopharmaceuticals, China (Phase I)University of Queensland/CSL, Australia (Phase I)The nine candidate vaccines that are currently being evaluated for inclusion in the COVAX Facility include two from China, two from the United States of America, one from the People's Republic of Korea, one from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and one global, multi-manufacture partnership. Two of these are in Phase I trials, two are tech transfers and the remainder are at the discovery stage.The 80 countries that have submitted expressions of interest to the Gavi-coordinated COVAX Facility include 43 that have agreed to be publicly named: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Portugal, Qatar, the People's Republic of Korea, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Venezuela.In July the Gavi Board agreed on the 92 economies that will be supported the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). The full list is as follows:Low income: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania  and Yemen.Lower-middle income: Angola, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eswatini, Ghana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyztan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Bank and Gaza, Zambia and ZimbabweAdditional IDA eligible: Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guyana, Kosovo, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Samoa, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tonga and Tuvalu.About Gavi, the Vaccine AllianceGavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 760 million children – and prevented more than 13 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines.  After two decades of progress, Gavi is now focused on protecting the next generation and reaching the unvaccinated children still being left behind, employing innovative finance and the latest technology – from drones to biometrics – to save millions more lives, prevent outbreaks before they can spread and help countries on the road to self-sufficiency. Learn more at www.gavi.org and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.The Vaccine Alliance brings together developing country and donor governments, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. View the full list of donor governments and other leading organizations that fund Gavi’s work here.About CEPICEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved with great urgency and in coordination with WHO in response to the emergence of COVID-19. CEPI has initiated nine partnerships to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus. The programmes are leveraging rapid response platforms already supported by CEPI as well as new partnerships. Before the emergence of COVID-19, CEPI’s priority diseases included Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever and Chikungunya virus. CEPI also invested in platform technologies that can be used for rapid vaccine and immunoprophylactic development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).  About WHOThe World Health Organization provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. Founded in 1948, WHO works with 194 Member States, across six regions and from more than 150 offices, to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable. Our goal for 2019-2023 is to ensure that a billion more people have universal health coverage, to protect a billion more people from health emergencies, and provide a further billion people with better health and wellbeing.For updates on COVID-19 and public health advice to protect yourself from coronavirus, visit www.who.int and follow WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube

via astanatimes08/19/2020

Kazakhstan Eases Travel Restrictions but COVID-19 Test Still a Must for Travelers from Poland, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan - Astana Times

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan has updated the regulations for passengers arriving in the country, according to the latest decree of the nation’s chief sanitary doctor.  The document categorizes different countries into three risk categories.  The first category countries are Belarus, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey,…

via finance.yahoo08/11/2020

Textile Exchange releases annual report showing the 2018/19 organic cotton harvest to be the second-largest on record - Yahoo Finance

Textile Exchange releases its 2020 Organic Cotton Market Report, the only report of its kind to cover production trends across the global organic cotton market. The report reveals data collected for the 2018/19 harvest year and shows an increase of 31 percent in organic cotton production over the previous year, making it the second-largest harvest on record after 2009/10. In addition to data per region, the report includes insights from industry professionals about their current projects, challenges, successes, goals, and visions for the organic cotton sector, with a particular focus this year on impacts of, and responses to, the dual threat of COVID-19 and climate change.

via emerging-europe09/13/2020

The geopolitical effects of Russian arms sales to Armenia: Elsewhere in emerging Europe - Emerging Europe

Our weekly digest of articles about emerging Europe published elsewhere this week, all of which caught our eye and all of which are well worth your time. Listing them here, however, does not necessarily mean that we agree with every word, nor do they necessarily reflect Emerging Europe’s editorial policy. — The geopolitical effects of […]

via menafn09/09/2020

Embassy of Qatar provides medical aid to Tajikistan - MENAFN.COM

Dushanbe: The Embassy of the State of Qatar to the Republic of Tajikistan has provided medical aid from Qatar Charity to the Republic of Tajikistan to confront the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The delivery of aid was attended by Minister of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan H E Jamoliddin Abdullozoda and Ambassador of the State of Q

via economictimes.indiatimes09/04/2020

India concerned at Afghan security situation, will continue to support people, govt: Rajnath at SCO - Economic Times

In his address at the combined meeting of defence ministers of the SCO, Collective Security Treaty Organisation and Commonwealth of Independent States member states here in the Russian capital, Singh said that "our goal should be security and growth for all in the region, but we are far from achieving security and growth for all."

via civilbeat.org08/26/2020

Where On Earth Are There No Cases Of COVID-19? - Honolulu Civil Beat

More than four months ago we reported that 15 nations had reported no cases of the coronavirus. A news report from the BBC this week said that 10 of those countries remain COVID-free: Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga …

via eurasiantimes08/24/2020

Which Ten Countries That Are 100% COVID-19 Free With Zero Cases? - EurAsian Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the entire world, with as many as 23 million cases reported globally and at least 8,00,000 deaths, according to the data from the John Hopkins University. Red Signal For WhatsApp As A New Powerful Messenger Gears-Up To Enter The Race Yet, as the race for the vaccine gets closer, there […]

via finance.yahoo08/15/2020

Virus Leaves Thousands of Migrant Workers Stranded in Russia - Yahoo Finance

(Bloomberg) -- Thousands of migrant workers from Central Asia are stuck in Russia because of travel bans, leading some to rely on money from home in a painful reversal of one of the biggest remittance flows in the world.“We’re up to our ears in debt,” said Tolib, a 26 year-old unemployed security guard, who was on his fourth unsuccessful attempt at waiting for information outside the Tajik embassy in Moscow’s upmarket Patriarch’s Ponds district. “We have to pay for rent, food and travel, and we have nothing to live on.”The laborers have been stranded without work in Russia since the Kremlin closed borders in March due to the pandemic. Many are running out of money after a global economic slump sapped demand for jobs in the construction and services sectors usually filled by some 4.4 million migrants.Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, which depend on money sent home from Russia for more than a third of annual gross domestic product, have been two of the biggest victims of a remittance crisis that swept the globe in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. A World Bank survey conducted in May found that more than 40% of households in Tajikistan have cut down on food consumption as a result, while Kyrgyzstan is receiving emergency funding from the International Monetary Fund.Before the pandemic, Tolib would send more than half of his $500 monthly paycheck back to his mother and two brothers in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe, keeping the rest to cover rent, bureaucratic fees, and food. After he lost his job in March, his family had to wire him $200, but it barely lasted a month.The Money’s Not Coming Home: $690 Billion Remittance RiskRussia has been slower to restart international flights than other big destinations for foreign laborers like the U.S. and Germany. The Tajik embassy started repatriation flights in June, but temporarily suspended the waiting list in July after thousands of people applied to go home, according to its website.Residents of other former-Soviet republics have also faced difficulties. Some 400 Azeris clashed with police in southern Russia as they attempted to cross the closed frontier, and a group of Uzbek workers set up makeshift camps near the border with Kazakhstan as they waited to go home, local media reported.The World Bank estimated that the amount sent home globally from migrant workers would slump 20% this year, the sharpest decline in recent history. Europe and Central Asia will be hardest hit, the research found.“Previously migrants were sending money here, but now their parents and relatives have to send money to Russia instead,” said Ikbol Isakov, who runs the Public Foundation Progress NGO in southern Kyrgyzstan.Usually, migrant workers send about $13 billion home each year from Russia, which has a shrinking population and allows most citizens of the former Soviet Union to work visa-free. Three quarters of foreign workers lost their jobs or went on unpaid leave during coronavirus lockdowns in April and May, according to a survey conducted by Evgeni Varshaver at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.International transfers from Russia slumped 35% in May and June compared to the same period a year ago, according to Unistream, a payment provider popular with Central Asian migrants.Money flows from Russia accounted for around a third of gross domestic product in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan in 2018. The Kyrgyz economy could contract by 4% this year, according to IMF forecasts from April, while Tajikistan’s GDP was forecast to grow 1%, a sharp decline from the 7.5% seen in 2019.“These people are being held like hostages here,” said Gulnara Bobodjanova, a lawyer who works at the Civic Assistance charity in Moscow. “The only way out of this situation is to open the border, even if it’s just in one direction, so that people who want to leave can go.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.