Connect with us

Top Stories

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY

Published

on

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY

The Summit is pushing for women’s equal participation in the labour market, which can add USD 28 trillion to the global economy by 2025

  • HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi: The UAE’s track record in advancing women is an exemplary international experience, and one that I am proud of.
  • HE Sheikh Mubarak Al Nahyan: Women’s economic empowerment is an expression of tolerance, happiness and security, and a prerequisite for peace and prosperity of nations around the world.
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Support for changing discriminatory social norms and stereotypes that segregate women into jobs with lower pay and limited opportunities for advancement need to be given attention along with gender-based violence that hinder women’s effective participation.
  • 20 Public and Private organisations take the WEEGS Pledge to implement the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) 
SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY

The first Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit (WEEGS 2017) inaugurated today in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA and Honorary Patron for Global Women’s Inclusion, and several high-ranking government and semi-government officials in the UAE.

The two-day summit is organised by the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and is being held at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Themed ‘Women Excelling in Economy,’ the event has brought together over 70 international experts, gender equality advocates, governmental, and private sector representatives, and 1,000-plus participants. The summit’s high-profile attendees will discuss ways to increase female entrepreneurship opportunities, secure their interests across sectors, and advance them in the economy.

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY-2

The opening ceremony began with a video that put into perspective the great opportunities for development, peace and prosperity the world is failing to capture due to its skewed realities for men and women

Thanking attendees from around the world for their enthusiastic participation at the summit, HH Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi remarked: “Investing in women and girls is key to sustainable development. The Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit is a celebration of women’s achievements around the world. It has been conceived as a catalyst for positive change. Over the next two days, we will explore new opportunities to advance women’s status in the economy, assessing the ground realities they face locally, in the region and the world.

“Research claims that engaging more women in the private sector will increase labour productivity by as much as 25 percent in some countries. This clearly shows that a substantial fraction of the world’s human resource remains untapped, barring them access to job markets and hampers their ability to enjoy equal opportunities.”

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY-3

The NAMA Chairperson highlighted the achievements of the UAE in providing women equal opportunities to realise their full potential, noting that they account for 70 percent of university students in the country, represent 46.6 percent of the total workforce in government and private organisations, and constitute 66 percent of the public sector workforce, of which 30 percent are leadership positions.

HH Sheikha Jawaher’s address was followed by a keynote speech from HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE Minister of Tolerance, who shed light on the importance of the event, saying: “Allow me to express my pleasure to be here today. This summit is supported by the UAE General Women’s Union as part of its efforts to influence the global decision-making process that will ensure women’s integration into the economy. I thank His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and his wife for their presence and patronage; which clearly reflects their keen interest in advancing the role of women in Sharjah and the UAE.

“WEEGS has given us a platform to galvanise our actions in making women a key component of society. Our country is a role model for successful initiatives in the development of women. Women here are aware of their roles at the workplace and society. Through events like this, we will take these accomplishments to greater heights.

SHARJAH RULER ATTENDS THE FIRST WOMEN’S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT GLOBAL SUMMIT INAUGURAL CEREMONY-4

“We look forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations. Your experiences will be valuable to us in enabling women to play a pivotal role in the economy. Tolerance, inclusion and equality are our goals in alignment with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Allow me to highlight that women’s empowerment is a main priority in the UAE as it supports humanitarian development in general.”

“Raising women’s salaries to match those given to men at similar positions, giving them healthcare and professional training, and enabling them to be equal partners in society are the need of the hour. We need to look into new technologies and resources that will empower women. Data collection, statistics and studies, and supportive regulations and legislations in the field must be encouraged,” HE Al Nahyan added.

The Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka took the floor next, and expressing her excitement about yet another successful collaboration with NAMA, she said: “Our partnership with NAMA has grown and strengthened since our meeting at the UN General Assembly in 2016. The UAE is one of the champions who is implementing the report of the UN Secretary General, and this summit is an example of how the report’s recommendations are not just catching dust in an office shelf.”

Commending the way women have excelled in the UAE’s economy, she highlighted the need for the same to be applied to the rest of the world. She noted that women need access to productive assets and resources, to technology, to equal pay, and need to be capacitated to start and grow their own businesses as these are all strong indicators of women excelling in economy – the theme of the summit. She emphasised the dire need for women to live free from violence, free from fear at home or at work so that they can prosper without stress that comes with being subjected to violence. “In some countries, the average impact of this violence is 3 percent of their annual GDP, but remains unacknowledged or even understood,” she remarked.

“We know that if women played an identical role to men in labour markets, as much as USD 28,000 trillion or 26 percent could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025. This is a lot of money, and represents a major impact on the economy of the world. It is us gathered here who are trying to make this a reality. We are here to assess and remove the multitude of restrains that women face step by step,” Phumzile added.

She shed light on gender-responsive procurement as a way of encouraging businesses that are female-owned and run, noting that currently only 1 percent of goods procured globally fall in this category. The UN Women initiative ‘Buy from Women’, encourages enterprises to do the same, and supports women-owned enterprises to produce goods that can be procured by both public and private sector companies.

UN Women’s ‘He for She’ movement aims to involve men in removing the glass ceiling that hinders women from progressing in their careers. This is especially helpful for women who are at the bottom of the pyramid and are stuck with low wages and are weighed down by hierarchy. In a year, PWC has increased the percentage of women in leadership positions across the globe from 17% to 43% having undertaken this initiative. 

The WEEGS Pledge

Twenty government and private organisations based out of Sharjah and the UAE, and international organisations with regional offices here came forward to pledge themselves to two Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), on the Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Summit platform today. The pledged actions that range from promoting education and professional training for women, to establishing high-level corporate leadership for gender equality and non-discrimination including recruitment, retention and promotion of women, have been taken to be implemented before the next edition of WEEGS in 2019.

HH Sheikh DrSultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi awarded the 20 pledging entities, which include the Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC); Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF Zone Authority); Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEED); Sharjah Electricity & Water Authority (SEWA); Sharjah Education Council (SEC); Sharjah  Tourism & Commerce  Development Authority (SCTDA); Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq); Sharjah City Municipality (SCM); Mubadala Investment Company; Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar); Crescent Group &Gulftainer; The Abraaj Group; Sharjah Women’s Sports Foundation (SWSF); Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS); Ruwad Establishment; Global Thinkers Forum; Health Promotion Department (Supreme Council of Family Affairs); Women Dare @ 50+; Sharjah Museums Authority; and a group of corporates including Citi, Procter and Gamble, Accenture,  Ernst and Young,  and WeConnect International.

Participating organisations have undertaken these pledges on the understanding that they must directly support women’s full and equal participation in and benefit from the economy; outline a specific action, have clear and feasible objectives, and be able to show clear impact and results within a timeline of 24 months; and have specific quantitative or qualitative goals that can be monitored by them to evaluate progress over time.

The pledgers will present the achieved outcomes of the commitment on the WEEGS platform in 2019. NAMA and UN Women will follow-up on the progress of the pledged actions over the implementation period and until WEEGS 2019.

Conclusion

WEEGS 2017 will put a spotlight on the ways companies, governments, international organisations and civil society can work together to make value chains work for women, enable the full participation of women-owned enterprises in value chains, create decent jobs for women, and provide equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs locally and globally.

During the two days at WEEGS 2017, the topics discussed will seek to influence the global decision-making process and shape global policies to advance women in the economy. From the pivotal role that government policies and legislations play in furthering gender equity; the collaboration of private and public sector in enhancing competitiveness of female-owned enterprises through gender-responsive procurement; bridging the gap between women and funding opportunities; the use of 21st century digital technologies to enhance female-owned businesses; the need to end gender-based violence in public and private life; and more will be highlighted during the summit’s 20 panel sessions.

Top Stories

EU recovery funds for telcom networks must help competition – Vestager

Published

on

EU recovery funds for telcom networks must help competition - Vestager 1

MILAN (Reuters) – European Union countries presenting plans to speed-up rollout of high-speed telecoms network should comply with rules aimed at protecting competition, the EU Antitrust head said on Tuesday.

The comments come as member states gear up to present projects eligible for the EU’s 750-billion-euro Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) – a fifth of which will go on plans to boost digital capabilities.

“Member States should ensure that the measures will be implemented in accordance with all applicable rules, including State aid and public procurement rules,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said in reply to a question by an EU lawmaker.

Stéphanie Yon-Courtin asked Vestager if Brussels had put in place a mechanism to ensure RRF resources would not be used to distort competition in the telecoms industry, claiming the funds should not strengthen the position of dominant operators.

“The Commission encourages member states to include in their recovery and resilience plans investments and reforms aimed… at the fast rollout of very high capacity networks”, Vestager said.

Yon-Courtin also raised concern over a plan drafted by Italy last year aimed at merging network assets of former phone monopoly Telecom Italia with state-backed rival Open Fiber in a company that could be eligible for Recovery funds.

Under that plan, still to be finalised, Rome would create a single-unified network champion to speed up fiber-optic rollout across the country while avoiding a duplication of investment.

“The Commission will continue its vigorous enforcement of the existing EU rules, including the antitrust and merger rules, where applicable, to ensure effective competition in the telecoms market to the benefit of businesses and consumers.”

Italy’s new government, led by former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, has not said yet if it intends to implement the unified network project of its predecessor.

One of Draghi’s main tasks will be to redraft Italy’s Recovery Fund plan.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina and Stephen Jewkes, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Mining magnets: Arctic island finds green power can be a curse

Published

on

Mining magnets: Arctic island finds green power can be a curse 2

By Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen and Eric Onstad

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – In the tenth century, Erik the Red, a Viking from Iceland, was so impressed with the vegetation on another Arctic island he had found he called it “the green land.” Today, it’s Greenland’s rocks that are attracting outsiders – superpowers riding a green revolution.

The world’s biggest island has huge resources of metals known as ‘rare earths,’ used to create compact, super-strong magnets which help power equipment such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, combat aircraft and weapons systems.

The metals are abundant globally, but processing them is difficult and dirty – so much so that the United States, which used to dominate production, surrendered that position to China about 20 years ago.

As Greenland’s ice sheet and glaciers recede, two Australia-based mining companies – one seeking funding in the United States, the other part-owned by a Chinese state-backed firm – are racing for approval to dig into what the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) calls the world’s biggest undeveloped deposits of rare earth metals.

The contest underscores the polluting side of clean energy, as well as how hard it is for the West to break free of China in production of a vital resource. Rare earth metals have many uses, and last year China produced about 90% of them, according to Toronto-based consultancy Adamas Intelligence. As U.S.-China tensions mount, President Joe Biden’s administration said last month it will review key U.S. supplies, including rare earths, to ensure other countries cannot weaponise them against the United States.

Each Greenland mine would cost about $500 million to develop, the companies say. Both plan to send mined material away for final processing, an activity that is heavily concentrated in China. The only rare earth mine now operating in the United States – Mountain Pass in California – is partly owned by a Chinese state-backed company that currently sends material mined in the U.S. to China for processing.

The Greenland sites are less than 16 km (10 miles) from each other at the southern tip of the island, near a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Debate on them has triggered a political crisis in the capital of Nuuk, forcing a general election on the island of 56,000, due in April. Many Greenlanders, while concerned about pollution, feel mining is key to develop their fragile economy. In a 2013 poll, just over half said they want raw materials to become the country’s main source of income.

The country may ultimately back either project, both, or neither, but for those Greenlanders open to mining, the two proposals boil down to a choice between one mine that would not produce radioactive material, and another that would.

The first mine, a private initiative from an Australian geologist who has presented it to U.S. officials, would not involve nuclear material. It has won preliminary environmental approval, but it needs cash and a processing plan.

The second one has already spent more than $100 million preparing to mine, has proven processing technology through its Chinese partner, and won initial political support from Greenland’s coalition government. But its plans include exporting uranium, a nuclear fuel, and it recently ran into strong opposition, including from residents of the nearby town of Narsaq.

“As indigenous people we have lived in harmony with nature for many, many years,” said Mariane Paviasen, an opposition lawmaker who lives in the town. “We use these lands to hunt and fish.”

Greenland, a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, has a gross domestic product of around $3 billion – similar to Andorra and Burundi. With its people living mostly on fishing and grants from Copenhagen, its government is keen to attract foreign investments.

It does not have an estimate for royalties from the first project, but expects around 1.5 billion Danish crowns ($245 million) each year from the Chinese-linked one – equivalent to roughly 15% of public spending.

Greenland’s government did not respond to requests for comment for this story. Acting Minister of Resources Vittus Qujaukitsoq said last month that if Greenlanders suddenly decide they don’t want the second project, “we’ll make a fool of investors. The credibility of the whole country is at stake.”

STRATEGIC RESOURCES

Greenland’s rare earth metals are also a chance for America and Europe to regain control of a strategic resource.

The island’s potential as a source of the raw materials needed for renewable energy technologies gained momentum in 2010, when China threatened to cut off its supply of rare earth metals to Japan, and tightened quotas to international buyers.

Prices for some of the metals have jumped in recent months, driven by surging demand for electric vehicles as well as concerns that Beijing may restrict sales.

Greenland’s position near the eastern flank of the United States makes it a sensitive location. Former U.S. President Donald Trump offered to buy the island in 2019, and he was not the first U.S. president to do so: In 1946 Harry S. Truman offered Denmark $100 million for it. A defence treaty between Denmark and the United States dating back to 1951 gives the U.S. military almost unlimited rights there, and Greenland houses the northernmost U.S. military base.

Friedbert Pflüger, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council think tank, says the revenues generated by a major mine could give its owner leverage over policies in Greenland, and a strong Chinese presence there may pose strategic threats.

“The very presence of Chinese companies in Greenland could be used as justification for China to intervene,” said Pflüger, a former German politician and ex-deputy defence minister.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that such comments politicise economic and trade issues through “groundless speculation,” adding “China has always supported Chinese companies to carry out foreign economic cooperation in accordance with market principles and international rules.”

The U.S. State Department said: “We encourage our allies and partners to carefully review any investments… that could give China access to critical infrastructure in ways that compromise their security or allow China to exert undue, adverse influence over their domestic economies.”

Denmark, which handles foreign affairs and defence for Greenland, has in the past headed off Chinese involvement in infrastructure projects, which government sources say was because of security concerns. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod declined to comment on the security implications of China’s involvement. But he told Reuters that Copenhagen’s close ties with the United States “should not be seen as an obstacle to commercial investments in Greenland.”

China is a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, so it can import uranium from Greenland. But since the fuel is used in nuclear weapons, that would be sensitive. Copenhagen, which has the final say, declined to comment.

TRUMP’S OFFER

Trump’s offer for Greenland aimed to help address Chinese dominance of rare earth supplies. Those involved say he was partly following up on talks between U.S. officials and a privately held company called Tanbreez Mining Greenland A/S. Tanbreez is the owner of the first Greenland site – Kringlerne, or Killavaat Alannguat in Greenlandic.

The company’s owner, Australian geologist Greg Barnes, told Reuters he had met U.S. officials weeks before Trump made the offer, and the company website shows Barnes with them and the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark on a site visit. The USGS confirmed its officials had visited the site in 2019; Washington and a representative for the former president declined to comment.

Barnes said he had put A$50 million ($38.6 million) of his own cash into the Greenland project. New York-based investment banker Christopher Messina, managing director at capital markets advisory services firm Mannahatta Partners, is trying to assemble more financing. He says Kringlerne is “such a huge deposit that what comes out of it could satisfy manufacturing demands in the U.S. for years to come.”

Whether or not that pans out, Barnes says the metals produced by his project can be processed outside China, although he has not yet decided where, and declined to say at what cost.

He said the royalties it would generate for Greenland would be roughly the same as those promised by the China-linked plan. “We’ve managed to get our capital costs down without Chinese technology,” Barnes told Reuters.

The only major plant outside China that does the complex work of separating individual rare earth elements is in Malaysia. But others – including the Mountain Pass mine in the United States – are planning or have started to build such facilities.

“For the foreseeable future, China is going to be the major player in all of these supply chains simply because it’s so far advanced and because it’s not stopping and waiting for alternatives to catch up,” said Ryan Castilloux, head of Adamas.

Tanbreez says half the rare earth metals it mines would be lanthanum and cerium – relatively plentiful metals used in telescope lenses and auto catalysts to cut emissions. About a fifth would be yttrium, which is in demand for lasers and the superconductors used in quantum computing.

Neither of the Greenland projects would be pollution-free. Both plan for mined rock to be locally crushed and separated into concentrates to send for final processing.

Tanbreez’s mining waste will be piped to a lake which, while it does not contain fish, feeds a river with a large population of Arctic char. Turbid water could impact the char, according to the company’s environmental report, which says it plans to dump some 550 tonnes a day of waste material into the lake and will dam it to prevent disruption downstream.

Tanbreez’s plan has passed the public consultations stage and received a government permit in September. Now the company is working on parliament approval.

“CRITICAL PERIOD”

Both the Greenland projects, though run from Australia, are part of a European Union initiative, the European Raw Materials Alliance, to boost Europe’s output of critical minerals and cut dependence on China for rare earth metals..

The alliance, funded by the EU, is coordinating investment and providing seed money for European mines, processing plants and industries such as magnets.

Last year, the EU kick-started 10 billion euros ($12 billion) of investment into rare earth and other green-energy-related projects, and it says its demand for rare earth metals could surge as much as tenfold by 2050. It says China currently makes up 98% of its supply.

“This is a very critical period of time,” says the Alliance’s head, Bernd Schäfer. “We in Europe are facing raw materials scarcity on many levels and also the need for action.”

The rival mountaintop site not far from Tanbreez is called Kvanefjeld, or Kuannersuit in Greenlandic. For John Mair, managing director of its owner, Greenland Minerals Ltd, it’s a world-class opportunity at the right moment.

Kvanefjeld’s main offer is neodymium, needed for wind turbines. Brussels says the EU’s demand for the metal may reach 13,000 tonnes per year by 2050, three times more than it used in 2015. Neodymium is also used in combat aircraft.

Greenland Minerals is a listed firm in which Chinese company Shenghe Resources is the biggest shareholder, with just under 10%. Shenghe, which also has a similar size stake in Mountain Pass, declined to comment for this story.

Greenland Minerals, which bought its concession from Barnes, says its planned mine will, at least initially, send minerals it produces to China for final processing. It says it plans to find a site in Europe, but has not said when.

The company has a strong hand. Back in 2011, the estimated costs for setting up Kvanefjeld were $2.3 billion. By 2019, these shrank to $505 million, the company says: Shenghe, whose biggest shareholder is a state-run Chinese mineral research institute, has helped boost efficiency.

But Greenland Minerals faces public opposition. It is one step behind Tanbreez in the environmental vetting process – and its ores include significant amounts of radioactive materials.

When Greenland Minerals embarked on public consultations this year, protests erupted. At one meeting in Narsaq on Feb. 10, locals both inside and outside the hall banged windows and played loud music to disrupt presentations.

As opposition mounted, a small pro-mining party, Demokraatit, triggered a general election by pulling out of Greenland’s coalition in early February.

Polls suggest Greenland’s main opposition party, Inuit Ataqatigiit (IA), which has a zero-tolerance policy for uranium, will become the biggest in parliament, so would be first to try to form a new coalition.

“Our aim,” IA lawmaker and Narsaq resident Paviasen told Reuters, “is to halt the (Kvanefjeld) mining project.” But IA says it has not expressed opposition to Tanbreez, which is seen as less of a threat to the environment.

Kvanefjeld would dump much more waste than Tanbreez – about 8,500 tonnes each day – into a lake on top of the mountain, the Greenland Minerals plan says.

Greenland Minerals says any increase in background radiation from its Kvanefjeld mine will be minimal. It plans to build a concrete 45-meter dam to contain the radioactive waste and to spray water on the ground to keep the dust from blowing away.

The dam will be built to international standards to “withstand even the worst imaginable seismic activity,” it said in a report submitted to Greenland’s government last year.

Even so, residents say they worry contaminated water will seep into nearby rivers or that the dam will fail entirely. They cite the collapse of a mining dam in Brazil two years ago that killed 270 people.

As the crisis has deepened, Greenland Minerals’ shares have dropped by more than 50%. If the mine goes ahead, Paviasen says, many people plan to move away.

(Corrects 10th paragraph to delete China as destination for uranium exports)

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Copenhagen and Eric Onstad in London; Additional reporting by Ernest Scheyder in Houston, Humeyra Pamuk in Washington and Tom Daly; Edited by Sara Ledwith)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

‘Turning point’: Cities urged to act on lessons learned in pandemic

Published

on

'Turning point': Cities urged to act on lessons learned in pandemic 3

By Carey L. Biron

WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – From better hygiene to greater awareness of inequality and recognition of “essential workers”, lessons learned during the coronavirus pandemic could be harnessed to improve city life for years to come, city leaders and others said this week.

The health crisis has gutted urban economies, emptied offices and public transport and shuttered communal spaces, but it might mark a watershed as cities seek to get back on their feet, the annual CityLab global summit heard.

“One of the big headlines coming out of the pandemic is that the things we thought were impossible before are actually possible and really absolutely necessary,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told the three-day event, this year held virtually.

COVID-19 has laid bare “a lot of the economic fault lines around race, around class, gender and inequalities that people believed were intractable – too big to actually solve,” Lightfoot said.

In the United States, the pandemic’s economic effects have taken a far heavier toll on Black and Hispanic families, while federal data from December showed women have been disproportionately affected by job losses.

“The crises we face have made clear the inequity and injustice that persist,” U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris told the event. “We want our cities and countries to thrive, not just survive.”

There are hopeful signs, several participants said.

The pandemic creates an opening to tackle issues exposed over the past year, such as the financial struggles of low-paid workers and their lack of social protection, said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

“Now we all see that some of the work that was least visible to us is actually essential – to our safety, health and our well-being,” Poo said.

She noted advances made amid the pandemic for domestic workers, most of whom are women and from minorities, including a new “bill of rights” in Philadelphia and a push in Chicago to ensure fair wages, time off and safe workplaces.

Such opportunities are not limited to rich countries, said Reuben Abraham, chief executive of the IDFC Foundation and IDFC Institute in Mumbai, suggesting the pandemic could be a “turning point” for cities in the developing world.

“Is there a way for us to embed the good behaviours that we’ve learned during COVID?” he said, noting the possibility of addressing “crowding” in cities through land use management, zoning and the provision of affordable housing.

Diseases such as cholera and typhoid have dropped substantially in Mumbai due to COVID-related hygiene practices such as hand-washing, Abraham said, while the wearing of face masks has had a significant effect on tuberculosis.

“(The pandemic) has been a disaster for all of us,” he said. “But if we do the right thing now, net-net we end up with a positive outcome.”

(Reporting by Carey L. Biron @clbtea; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

 

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now