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Food Day, COVID treatments, elections in Bolivia … Friday’s news

ByMicheal Johnson

Oct 17, 2020

This Friday is World Food Day at a time when COVID-19 has joined conflicts, climate change and economic problems to shoot the number of people who go hungry.

The 75-year-old FAO calls for more support for “food heroes” – farmers and supply chain workers who ensure food reaches the table, even in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.

The director of World Food Program, the agency recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, warned about the seriousness of the current situation.

“The house is burning when you see that the number of people marching towards famine has grown from 135 million to 270 million. That is inadmissible and a disgrace to humanity. On top of that 690 million people go to bed hungry every night. In a world with 360 trillion wealth this is inexcusable, ”said David Beasley.

A study The World Food Program shows how a basic plate of food remains out of reach for millions of people. While in New York State a person spends 0.6% of their daily income to buy a simple meal, in South Sudan that same meal requires 186% of incomes. If a New Yorker paid that percentage, his meal would cost $ 393. Of the 20 countries where food costs the most, 17 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Haiti ranks fourth on the list, with the equivalent of $ 74 in New York for a plate of food.

PAHO Barbados / Brenda Lashley

A lab worker learns how to test for coronavirus in Barbados.

The World Health Organization has announced that two of the treatments being studied against COVID-19, remdesivir and interferon, have “little or no effect” in preventing deaths or reducing hospitalization time.

This has been shown in the Essay of Solidarity, the world’s largest study involving 13,000 patients in 500 hospitals in 30 countries.

Hydroxychloroquine was removed from the study in June and it was announced in July that no more patients would be accepted for lopinavir and ritonavir.

Neither of these treatments has been proven effective and the guidelines for use for clinicians will be updated in the coming weeks.

“The Solidarity Trial is still enrolling 2,000 patients each month and will evaluate other treatments, including monoclonal antibodies and new antivirals. At the moment, the corticosteroid dexamethasone is the only treatment that has been shown to be effective against COVID19 for seriously ill patients, ”explained Dr. Tedros Adhanon Gebreyesus, the director general of the WHO.

UN Bolivia / Hasan Lopez

ARCHIVE. Protests in La Paz, Bolivia

The High Commissioner for Human Rights He urged the Bolivian authorities and political and social actors to refrain from any action that could undermine the peaceful development of the general elections to be held on Sunday.

Michelle Bachelet expressed her deep concern over the inflammatory language and threats made by some political actors in recent weeks, as well as the increasing number of physical attacks.

“It is essential that all parties avoid new acts of violence that could trigger clashes“stated the High Commissioner.”Nobody wants a repeat of the events of the past year, which led to vast human rights violations and abuses -among which there are at least 30 dead and more than 800 wounded- and that, ultimately, all lose. “

UN Human Rights deployed a mission to Bolivia in November 2019. The mission remains in the country to monitor and report on any violation and abuse of human rights, including in the current electoral context.

Gustavo Martinez Contreras

The pink crosses represent the victims of femicide in Mexico.

Human rights experts urged Mexico not to make more budget cuts to programs against sexist violence and maternal, sexual and reproductive health.
“If the budget bill is passed as is, significant cuts will be made,” said the rapporteurs.

The 2021 budget bill includes cuts of 10 to 20 percent compared to the 2019 and 2020 budgets. A program for promoting equality between indigenous women and men would suffer cuts of up to 53 percent, and another to promote the participation of indigenous women would be eliminated entirely.
“Governments must ensure that essential services, such as those related to violence against women and sexual and reproductive health, remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond,” the experts said.

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