Africa Education 

World Bank approves $50 million grant to improve quality of  education in Sierra Leone 

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors yesterday approved a $50 million grant to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s flagship program for Free Quality School Education launched in 2018. According to the World Bank, the Free Education Project will support some initial COVID-19 response activities, including provision of distance learning and communication campaigns on prevention. Sierra Leone has made significant gains in school enrolment, but education outcomes and skills acquisition are among the lowest in Africa. The education sector also faces issues of deep inequities in access, weak governance,…

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Australasia Covid19 

Australia is defeating coronavirus but remains at risk of losing through an ‘economic own goal’

If handling pandemics was a sport, Australia has made it into the knockout stages of the coronavirus world cup. Despite the current localised outbreaks in Melbourne, half of Australia’s states and both territories are effectively coronavirus free, while there’s only a smattering of cases elsewhere. Economically too, Australia is among the world leaders, thanks to continued demand for our major commodity exports plus large and rapid economic stimulus that has buttressed consumer spending and kept at least 3 million workers attached to their employers, even if those businesses were shut…

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Asia North America Technology 

‘They are applying pressure,’ Bains says of China’s push for Canada to adopt Huawei’s 5G tech

OTTAWA — Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says China is “applying pressure” on Canada to integrate Huawei technology into its 5G network, as it remains the only Five Eyes nation yet to make a decision about the scope of its involvement. The other four members of the global intelligence alliance — Australia, the United States, New Zealand and most recently the United Kingdom — have all made some indication about whether they will outright ban China’s Huawei’s technology or apply it in a some capacity. “Clearly they are applying pressure, and…

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Asia Covid19 

Singapore will emerge from COVID-19 crisis a stronger society, with renewed sense of identity and values

Singapore will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis a stronger society, with a renewed sense of identity and values, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has vowed to leave no Singaporean behind. Mr Heng was delivering the sixth and final speech in a series of national ministerial broadcasts on Singapore’s post-COVID-19 future. “Our economy will emerge stronger, creating better jobs and business opportunities for all Singaporeans. And our society will emerge stronger, leaving no one to walk this journey alone,” he said. “We will emerge stronger as one people, our…

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Covid19 South America 

What Colombia’s Record Says About COVID-19 Testing

The view from Colombia as the coronavirus hobbled health systems in Italy, Spain and beyond was a frightening one. If developed economies could be brought to their knees by COVID-19, what would happen to us? But while the outbreak has indeed had tragic consequences – more than 1,800 Colombians have lost their lives to the virus so far – we have largely avoided the saturated hospital systems and skyrocketing mortality rates seen elsewhere in the region. By cases per million residents Colombia ranks as only the 71st most affected country…

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