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“A child dies every 10 minutes” – war in Ukraine diverting attention from other world crises

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As the ongoing crisis in Ukraine continues, families are struggling to bring food to the table during the holy month of Ramadan in the Middle East and North Africa.

Juliette Touma, from UNICEF focusing Middle East and North Africa joined ticker earlier.

Six weeks into the war in Ukraine, the fragile nutritional status of children in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to worsen.

While Muslims in the region observe the holy month of Ramadan, disruption in imports caused by the conflict is creating food shortages amid high prices of essential commodities, including wheat, edible oils, and fuel.

If this continues, it will severely impact children, especially in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen; some are hunger hotspots according to recent assessments undertaken prior to the Ukraine crisis, as those countries were already struggling with conflicts, economic crises, or a sharp increase in global food prices in 2021.

“Definitely during the COVID 19 pandemic, we have seen in this region, interruptions to the supply chain, and that impacted the availability but also the prices of basic food items,” Juliette told ticker.

“In addition to that, we have high poverty levels and the high unemployment due to conflicts but also due to the pandemic. And now with crisis in the Ukraine, this has certainly impacted the situation even further,” she continues.

“In a place like Yemen, we do know that a child dies every 10 minutes due to preventable causes, including malnutrition. So the risk and the fear is that malnutrition among children in these two countries, is indeed going to increase.”

The ripple effect of the continuing war in Ukraine is compounding the impacts of two long years of the COVID-19 pandemic on economies, employment and poverty in the MENA region, where more than 90 per cent of food is imported.

Many countries have already been struggling with child malnutrition, especially due to ongoing armed conflicts and humanitarian crises.

“when you have more conflicts, that means that the attention is diverted,”

Juliette tells TICKER

“And this is a fear, of course that we have at UNICEF. So I mean, the best solution for all of us and the world is for these crisis to come to an end for these wars to come to an end as soon as possible. We don’t need more wars in this region. We don’t need more conflicts around the world. And certainly we do hope that all these wars will come to an end as soon as possible also for the sake of children wherever they are in this in this world.”

QUICK FACTS
  • Only 36 per cent of young children in the region are receiving the diets they need to grow and develop in a healthy way;
  • The region is home to high rates of undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. On an average, nearly one in five children is stunted while the average wasting rate is 7 per cent.

In the MENA countries most impacted by the war in Ukraine, undernutrition rates are higher.

  • In Yemen, 45 per cent of children are stunted and over 86 per cent have anaemia;
  • In Sudan, 13.6 per cent of children suffer from wasting, 36.4 per cent are stunted and nearly half have anaemia;
  • In Lebanon, 94 per cent of young children are not receiving the diets they need, while over 40 per cent of women and children under the age of five have anaemia;
  • In Syria, only one in four young children get the diets they need to grow healthy. The price of the average food basket has nearly doubled in 2021 alone.

UNICEF works with partners to deliver and scale-up lifesaving treatment services for children with severe wasting in conjunction with its early detection in children under five years old.

Simultaneously, with partners, UNICEF delivers preventive nutrition services including micronutrient supplements, growth monitoring and counselling and support on breastfeeding and age-appropriate complementary feeding.

“what we’re calling for at UNICEF is for concerted efforts, so that we can all work together to provide children with with malnutrition, with the assistance they need, because it’s a sort of an illness, at some point, it becomes a sort of an illness,” Juliette says.

“We need to provide children with the micronutrients that they need, we need to do assessments early on, so that we identify and detect malnutrition among children early on,

“And we need more assistance to come to these countries, including the delivery of the supplements, but also of basic foods and basic medicine so that we avert more children from going hungry and more children from falling ill with malnutrition.”

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Disney vs Netflix – who will win the streaming revenue raise?

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Netflix and Disney shares fall as the streaming companies fight to stay on top of their game

Investors to evaluate Walt Disney’s shift from cable television to subscription service as the company’s shares fall by 31 percent.

This comes after Netflix announced its first ever decrease in subscribers last month. The company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter while predicting more losses ahead.

Netflix’s decision to suspend its services in Russia also led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. It’s shares have also fallen by a staggering 71 percent this year, a bigger loss than its competitor Disney.

While Netflix struggles with its subscriber count, FactSet Estimates predicts Disney+ to have attracted 5.3 million new subscribers through march leading to a total of about 135.1 million subscribers.

Disney also predicts it will have amassed more than 230 million subscribers by September 2024.

Netflix is reportedly considering adding an advertisement-based subscription option by the end of the year as the company looks at how to stay competitive in the increasingly saturated streaming market.

In a previous statement, Netflix’s chief executive said they were looking to introduce advertisements in a year or two but a leaked internal note to the employees has revealed the company is introducing it as early as October 2022.

The note also says Netflix will begin cracking down on password sharing by monetizing it.

All of this has resulted in Netflix being sued by shareholders who argue they have been mislead about the state of the company and future prospects.

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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Biden on his bike for 2024

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Before President Joe Biden fell from his bike while dismounting in Rehoboth Delaware – at his summer home for his 45th anniversary celebrations with Dr Jill Biden and Fathers Day on Sunday – he had a lot on his mind

Bruce Wolpe joins ticker NEWS – Donald Trump teases 2024 presidential bid

When he spoke to the Associated Press late last week he was very candid. 

In discussing the mood of the country, the president said

“ People are really, really down. They’re really down. Their need for mental health in America has skyrocketed because people have seen everything upset. Everything they counted on upset. But most of it’s a consequence of, of, of what’s happening, what happened is a consequence of the, the COVID crisis.

People lost their jobs. People are out of their jobs. And then, were they going to get back to work? Schools were closed. Think of this. I think we vastly underestimate this.”

BIDEN FALLS OFF BIKE

As a politician, Biden has always felt the people who he works for in his gut

The White House can be a bubble, but Biden’s was a pretty accurate take on how so many Americans are feeling right now. He went deeper:

“We have a little thing called climate change going on. And it’s having profound impacts. We got the tundra melting. We’ve got the North Pole, I mean, so people are looking and, and I think it’s totally understandable that they are worried because they look around and see,

“My God, everything is changing.” We have more hurricanes and tornadoes and flooding. People saw what — I took my kids years ago to Yellowstone Park. They call me, “Daddy did you see what happened at Yellowstone, right?” Well, it’s unthinkable. These are 1,000-year kinds of events.

I think, you know, I fully understand why the average voter out there is just confused and upset and worried. And they’re worried, for example, you know, can they send their kid back to, back to college? What’s going to happen? Are we going to take away the ability of people to borrow? So I think there’s a lot of reasons for people to want to know what comes next.”

Biden talked about his legislative program, and he thinks he can get the votes to lower the household costs of utility bills and prescription drugs, make investments in technology and broadband, and enact fairer taxes for the super-wealthy.  

Biden knows he has to deliver the goods. 

While the political chatter in Washington lurched into making his stumble off the bike a metaphor for his presidency right now, Biden immediately got back on it and pedaled ahead to his destination:  re-election in 2024.

There is a lot of speculation on whether he will run again. 

Here are the facts:  Biden wants to run again.  He especially wants to run again if Trump runs again.  Biden entered the presidential campaign in 2020 because he felt he had to save the country by stopping Trump from destroying America’s democracy.  And he did. Trump in 2024 only re-ignites the urgency of Biden’s mission.

There is no whispering from inside the White House undermining or contradicting the president’s intention. Among political professionals, there no material dissent from the judgment that Biden is the strongest Democratic candidate:  there is no obvious alternative who commands anything near the support Biden has among Democrats.  

Biden knows his approval rating.  He knows the Republicans smell blood. He knows many Democrats who voted for him have doubts given his age and his current standing.  But Biden knows that inflation will recede, the economy will recover, and the Republicans in 2023 will be the most extremist cohort of radical lawmakers the country has ever seen, and  that the place to be is in the centre, where elections in the United States are won and lost.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina

Rep. Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina and the third ranking leader in the House, whose support for Biden effectively sealed Biden’s nomination in 2020, said over the weekend   “My advice: be yourself, stay focused. Make the promises and keep them.”

That is exactly where Biden is.  To Joe Biden that looks like the winning hand in ’24.

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EXCLUSIVE: Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia speaks out

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Vasyl Myroshnychenko is seeking to engage private and public investment in Ukraine to help with its war recovery

Vasyl Myroshnychenko could not have possibly foreseen under what circumstances he would be accepting his ambassadorship.

The 41-year-old was fast-tracked into the important role of Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia when Russia invaded his nation in late February.

Myroshnychenko is seeking to meet with Australia’s newly-elected government to discuss trade and aid opportunities after returning from the war-torn country.

During Myroshnychenko’s eight-day visit to Ukraine, he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s most senior advisors, the prime minister, and other military officials.

“I hope Putin dies tomorrow, maybe today.”

Vasyl Myroshnychenko

Myroshnychenko spoke exclusively to TICKER NEWS, in which he says morale is at an all-time low in his home country.

Ukraine has been fighting Russian forces for nearly four months. Russia’s latest military offensive is seeing troops fighting in the east of Ukraine, where hundreds of civilians have lost their lives.

“As long as Russia stays on Ukrainian territory, this war will continue. We need to get the Russians out of Ukraine, free the nation of Russian occupation and then we will be free.”

Vasyl Myroshnychenko

The ambassador is seeking to hold talks with Australian lawmakers on the current situation. He says more lethal aid and economic assistance is essential.

President Zelensky speaks to Australia’s Parliament.

President Zelensky has invited Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Ukraine. Meanwhile, leaders from France, Germany and Italy travelled to the war-torn nation on Thursday, where they toured regions that have been decimated.

“I think that’s it’s very important that the world hears Ukraine, the world steps in, because that can solve energy issues that can solve the food crisis,” Myroshnychenko told TICKER NEWS.

Trade on the horizon

A bilateral trade deal between Australia and Ukraine could be on the horizon. The deal would reportedly be modelled on the U.K. free trade agreement.

“My role is to mobilise more support for Ukraine and Australia, I will soon be credited to New Zealand as well,” Myroshnychenko says.

Vasyl Myroshnychenko says he hopes President Putin dies.

Myroshnychenko studied international trade at the London School of Economics. He says additional military might is needed urgently.

“My job is to get more military assistance, more financial assistance for Ukraine. But every Ukrainian no matter what he or she is doing, is able to contribute either on social media, either fighting in the trenches, or doing the work they are doing to help Ukraine become stronger,” he says.

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