As blockchain and crypto go mainstream, here are the best blockchain and crypto youtube podcast channels on video and other media platforms.
Most major companies, financial institutions and even central banks are exploring how to adapt crypto and blockchain into their processes. It is a tour de force that can’t be ignored. In fact, its research and adaptation should become a priority because of its potentiality in terms of efficiency, cybersecurity and transparency. As Eric Shmidt, Google CEO, said: “Bitcoin is a remarkable cryptographic achievement and the ability to create something that is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value.”
And there has never been a better time to learn more about decentralized finance and blockchain than now. The total market capitalization for crypto assets has surpassed a trillion dollars in dollar-denominated value and bitcoin is hitting all-time highs. Fortunately, many experts, traders, and industry leaders have found podcasts to be the best way to share their knowledge and develop all the many opportunities that blockchain and digital currencies offer. Let’s take a look at the best blockchain and crypto YouTube podcast channels.
One of the most prolific names in the ‘crypto-YouTube world’, Omar Bahm presents a smash-hit channel for consistently high-quality crypto content. With nearly 120K subscribers, Omar combines his 8 years vlogging experience with eloquent crypto analysis to create well-produced regular interviews, news, and Q&As. Omar’s interviews at crypto events bring a unique slant to this channel, as he gets the latest news in action from the heart of the crypto community.
Omar Bham has been using Bitcoin since 2012, and began mining Ethereum in February 2016. Having been through many experiences, Omar decided to start sharing video blogs on YouTube, to document the journey. Now, this channel is home to a variety of content, including daily livestreams that feature the latest cryptocurrency opinions, rumors, news, sentiments, interviews & more. Omar does the work of finding the most important topics of the day, reading many articles, so that viewers can still get the information they need, without having to do all of the leg-work themselves.
The Moon channel focuses on Bitcoin news and Bitcoin price. They focus on Bitcoin technical analysis suitable even for beginners. They also go through daily BTC news & crypto news, while also making some general cryptocurrency analysis. According to the founder: “I believe that fundamental analysis and technical analysis go hand in hand, so I incorporate both in my Bitcoin videos. Cryptocurrencies, but most importantly Bitcoin, is going to change the world, so buy Bitcoin, subscribe to this channel and be part of this amazing financial revolution!”
MMCrypto is one of the leading fast growing trading crypto communities on Youtube. They offer insights and content to help viewers learn everything regarding Cryptocurrency, ICO Investing & Evaluation and Blockchain related topics.
Craig Cobb hosts The Trader Cobb Crypto Podcast unpacking his 15 years plus experience in traditional stock markets, FX, commodities and bonds (as well as over 6 years as a mentor to tens of thousands of traders), TraderCobb has worked with some of the biggest names in trading. Featured across network TV shows in Australia, presenting his knowledge to traders, TraderCobb and his team are dedicated to bringing a new standard of education to the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Focusing on interviewing top industry experts and thought leaders from different sectors, this podcast, led by citiesabc founder Dinis Guarda has also had the chance to talk with the most prominent experts in crypto and blockchain. In fact, Dinis Guarda – citiesabc is a fast growing Youtube Podcast Thought leadership channel focused on profiling global leading inspiring people, leaders, CEOs, authors, technologists, academics. We highlight the ideas, products, inventions, software, books & solutions to the multiple challenges / opportunities we face in our cities / nations with the advent of Society 5.0digital transformation4IRAI Blockchain FintechIoT disruptive tech
Dinis Guarda is author of books such as 4IR: AI, Blockchain, Fintech Reinventing a Nation” “How Businesses and Governments can Prosper with Fintech, Blockchain and AI?”, “Blockchain AI Crypto Economics”. Dinis Guarda has been listed in global fintech, blockchain, AI, social media industry top influencer in position 5/10/20/100 rankings: Top People In Blockchain by cointelegraph 2019, The Artificial Intelligence Power 100.
The Bad Crypto Podcast is one of the top shows focused on blockchain and cryptocurrency. Broadcasting since 2017, Joel Comm and Travis Wright attempt to demystify the world of bitcoin, blockchain, alt-coins, NFTs, and ICOs in this podcast for cryptocurrency newbies and enthusiasts alike.
Ivan is an international speaker, blockchain educator, software developer and data scientist. Ivan’s Youtube channel, Ivan on Tech, is a truly global phenomenon spreading knowledge about the blockchain technology to hundreds of thousands of viewers all over the world. He normally uploads 1 video / day and live since Jul 2013.
When we talk about Bitcoin and blockchain podcasts, one of the most loved/hated is The Pomp Podcast. With over 400,000 followers on Twitter, Anthony Pompliano is one of crypto’s big hitters—and with his show The Pomp Podcast (formerly known as Off the Chain), he’s used that influence to bag interviews with big names from the cryptocurrency space and beyond.
Pompliano’s approach is to focus on the impact of blockchain, crypto, and the decentralized web on the financial sector—from investing and fundraising to everyone’s favorite topic, regulations. Between the quality of the guests and the host’s background in crypto investing—he’s a co-founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital—there are some great insights to be had. A worthwhile, perspective-widening listen for even the most avid Bitcoin enthusiast.
According to Najib Aminy and Stephen Graves, from Forbest: “The Decrypt Daily, is as fine a show as you could hope to listen to. Released, as the name would suggest, every weekday, it sees host Matthew Aaron (formerly of Crypto 101) pore over the day’s news, with insightful interviews featuring crypto luminaries.”
Rising to become one of the most popular crypto podcasts since its launch in 2017, What Bitcoin Did has taken host Peter McCormack to 30 countries as he tracks down and interviews leading figures in the crypto space (though since the coronavirus pandemic kicked in, he’s been confined to the less glamorous surroundings of Bedford).
Laura Shin, host of Unchained, is an independent journalist and (gasp) a “nocoiner”. Unchained has been running since 2016, making it one of the more established podcasts in crypto, and it’s played host to many major names from the space. The likes of Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks and SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce have come on the show to share their thoughts on the regulatory environment, while investors such as Chamath Palihapitiya, Mike Novogratz and Raoul Pal discuss economic trends.
Launched in October 2020, Bully Esquire is a relative newcomer on the scene—but is already off to a strong start. While the format’s a familiar one—a long-form interview podcast, with most episodes clocking in at an hour—the hook here is its host’s background as a corporate attorney. Bringing his legal expertise to the table, he covers topics such as how lawyers are responding to the evolution of crypto regulations, and the impact of crypto privacy on government policy.
NEOM Co. announced its first step to create the world’s leading cognitive cities that rely on leading technology for digital services after signing a contract with stc group to establish a 5G network infrastructure that will accelerate NEOM’s digital ambitions. In addition to the one-year contract to develop the network, the partnership also includes the development of an innovation center in NEOM to explore new 5G opportunities.
NEOM’s next generation cognitive cities will support its cutting-edge urban environments, improving the lives of residents and businesses far beyond the capabilities of today’s smart cities. NEOM will use one of the most advanced 5G technology in the world, to enable the proactive exchange and analysis of data between NEOM residents and city infrastructure.
stc will build a wireless 5G network enabling present and future 5G applications across NEOM. With a speed and capacity 10 times higher than standard 4G networks, 5G in NEOM will enable numerous segments such as Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics, virtual reality, augmented reality, smart homes, and autonomous vehicles. It will also provide the public safety network for NEOM security services.
Commenting on the agreement, NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al Nasr said: “We are glad to form this partnership with a leading national digital enabler such as stc to support our ambition and goal to be an accelerator of human progress and to create the world’s leading digitally sustainable, cognitive cities. NEOM’s infrastructure will utilize AI, robotics, and human-machine fusion to deliver greater predictive intelligence and enable faster decision making across all NEOM sectors. The procurement and deployment of a future-proof wireless network is a critical first for NEOM in realising our goal of driving innovation in the future digital economy.”
The CEO of stc Group, Eng. Nasser bin Sulaiman Al Nasser,added: “This agreement reflects stc’s commitment to enabling digital transformation and providing digital solutions across the Kingdom. We are proud to have been chosen to build the infrastructure for the 5G network and an innovation centre in NEOM – the land of the future and a model for sustainability, innovation, development, and prosperity. This agreement comes in line with stc’s vision as a digital enabler to develop infrastructure and provide the latest technologies that will enrich the experience of societies and foster innovation, which in turn will contribute to improve the customer experience and moving the digital transformation forward.
NEOM will also trial and test 5G solutions that will allow it to lead in fast-growing, future-focused sectors such as robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and human machine interface technologies. Leveraging such technology will open up the enormous potential of NEOM as a new economic driver across a range of industry sectors for the Kingdom.
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a New Future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this New Future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses, and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will be the home and workplace to more than a million residents from around the world. It will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in ground-breaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity – all supported by a progressive law compatible with international norms and conducive to economic growth.
citiesabc founderDinis Guarda ranked in 4th position in Thinkers360’s Top 50 Blockchain Global Thought Leader live ranking. As a global thought leader in the areas of blockchain and emerging technologies, Dinis Guarda featured a score of 79.52 out of 100.
Dinis Guarda, author, serial entrepreneur and CEO of ztudium, among others, was especially active in the areas of Influencer, Author and Entrepreneurship, which propelled him to the top levels of the list.
The citiesabc founder shared the top 5 of Thinkers360’s list with recognized global thought leaders. The first spot was held by Chief Technology Officer at BeyondIdentity, Gokul Alex, which achieved an impressive 100 score rating. The CTO at BeyondIdentity was especially active in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Authorship and as a Key Speaker in various events.
Gokul Alex is better known as a Blockchain Educator, Enterprise Architect, Data Scientist, Internet Technologist, and Quantum Computing Researcher with strong expertise on Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Computing, Digital Transformation, Epistemology, Innovation Management, Social Entrepreneurship and Semiotics. He is contributing to the global blockchain ecosystem as the ambassador for Hashgraph and ZCash. He has authored four patents and published numerous articles and blogs.He is an advisor to numerous Startups, Funds, Communities, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, Social Networks, Regulatory Bodies and Business Consortiums. He has developed Blockchain reference architectures and proof of concepts for Product Provenance, Land Registry, Biometric Identity, Energy Audit, Health Records, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things etc.
The top 5 was completed by Founder at Datafloq, Dr Mark van Rijmenam (91.22 score); Founder, Blockchain and smart contracts Expert, Olivier Rikken (81.32) and Global Practice Leader at Tech Mahindra, Rajesh Dhuddu (75.92), respectively.
Special mention goes to citiesabc collaborator Sally Eaves, which made it to the position 17 and featuring a 48.23 score. Sally Eaves is a recognised thought leader in emergent technology (Blockchain, AI, Machine Learning, VR/AR), intrapreneurship, online media and navigating digital disruption and by working with authenticity, purpose and drive. This time, she was very active as an Influencer and Entrepreneur.
Likewise, recent citiesabc interview guest Helen Yu was also featured in the list. The Founder & CEO at Tigon Advisory Corp. was quite active as an Influencer and Entrepreneur, which granted her enough score to position herself as the 32nd top global influencer in the Top 50 Blockchain Global Thought Leader Ranking By Thinkers360.
Thinkers360 Ranking Methodology
The Thinkers360 patent-pending algorithm helps to produce leaderboards that look across all thought leader roles and across the quantity and quality of their thought leadership content. It provides a valuable measure of thought leadership content, encourages genuine content creation, incorporates social media influence as one of the measures, and encourages richer profiles and portfolios through gamification.
Thinkers360’s listing includes authors, influencers and speakers who are members of Thinkers360 and who have curated and shared their thought leadership content – including articles, blogs, books, keynotes, media interviews, panels, podcasts, social media, speaking events, videos, webinars and whitepapers – via their platform.
As the company said, their differentiation from the various influencer leaderboards on social media, is that we take a holistic view of thought leaders and experts, beyond their social media activity, and look across all the hats they may wear – such as academic, author, consultant, entrepreneur, influencer and speaker – and all the types of thought leadership content they produce.
Of course, no measurement system related to influence or thought leadership is perfect, but the thought leadership scoring system within Thinkers360 is a highly-differentiated approach to help you identify authentic thought leaders – looking far beyond social media – serving as the tip of the spear for your B2B influencer marketing objectives.
Era Novum:- Alium orbis terrarium – A new era: – another world
Weak International Organisations :- Need for a fundamental review
The pandemic has clearly highlighted the limitations and restrictions of the UN and its agencies when having to deal with a menace which threatens the fabric, organization and foundations of the global society as we know it. This is the greatest global threat since WW2 – the world has had to deal with a treacherous, fiercely contagious, unknown and in some cases deadly enemy which has found its way in most of the countries, transgressing borders and political ideologies.
The United Nations‘s mission and mandate must imperatively and urgently be reviewed in the light of the events of the recent months. Its primary mission as defined currently and set just a few decades ago “is to increase political and economic cooperation among its member countries”.
It aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. Seventy-five years after its establishment, glaring gaps in its reach and influence to coordinate actions against a new global threat came to the surface as the world grappled with the pandemic and the most powerful nations acted independently of each other thereby exacerbating the divide and polarizing the world.
The international institutions come out of the Covid 19 weakened and challenged, and they will have to redefine themselves under the new world order to restore confidence and legitimacy. The US has clearly disavowed the UN and has refused to take the leadership going forward.
World Polarisation :- Two worlds
Covid 19 has accelerated the polarization of the world and it has presented the most powerful nations with an ideal platform to roll out their nationalistic policies against global economic good sense. The world post-Covid 19 is definitely going to be fundamentally different to the one we lived in. On the one hand, the USA will lead the way in the western world seeking to reestablish and consolidate its economic supremacy.
The manufacturing networks and supply chains – especially in China, which accounted up to a few weeks ago for 30% of global manufacturing output were paralyzed and resulted in delays worldwide in the delivery of essential services and food, pharmaceuticals, electronics and automotive components, metals, and other manufactured goods.
This painfully highlighted the interdependencies of the democracies on China and resulted in a well-articulated and compelling case for reevaluating the supply chains and implementing radical shifts in production structures and trade policy.
On the other hand, China plans to take over the lead in global stewardship and ensuring that it comes across as a responsible global citizen whist further consolidating its economic reach around the world. Its actions during the pandemic clearly reflected its new posture as it distributed aid to the rest of the world. China has profited immensely from the liberal global trading system and is acutely aware that this is about to change. In the face of the looming shift in global supply chains China aims to support and develop new markets, so it can redeploy its manufacturing capabilities to satisfying these markets.
Is the world post Covid 19 rushing toward an inevitable polarization driven by the nationalistic populism of the democracies? Will we end up having two completely different types of economic and social development, one driven by the USA and the other China?
The US has made it clear that it has no interest to lead the world on global matters especially having anything to do with the engagement against the Covid 19. This void will be filled. It will be either the western big tech companies or maybe Europe. For the latter to happen Europe will have to accept that the US will always place its own interests above those of the international community, including Europe, and that it will need to reinvent itself and metamorphose into an independent, serious and modern post Covid 19 organization with a clearly defined and workable political and economic system.
Big tech and the democracies :- The turnaround
Big Tech companies based in the Western world have, up to recently, been threatened with more controls and regulations from the governments and as their influence grew so did the pressure for such controls. Their manipulation of elections in the western democracies through their platforms spelt their doom with calls for their breakup.
Covid 19 is about to change that as the governments acknowledge their shortcomings highlighted by the pandemic and as the threat of a powerful digital China emerges post Covid 19. In addition, the new world dynamics will be intimately entrenched in the robustness of Artificial Intelligence, the adoption of digitalization and the implementation of cutting edge and evolutive security protocols.
The role and influence of the big tech companies in the economies will be actively nurtured and they will be encouraged to further extend their innovations and development. The governments will strengthen them in the face of the China digital threat and will allow them even more financial might.
In the perspective of a new world order built on digital technology, artificial intelligence, blockchain and robotics would we be handing over to the big tech company matters of national security? Will the citizens be trading their job and health security for a world where there will be no privacy? Will the big tech companies set the rules of governance and regulate the societies they operate in?
Social media companies such as Facebook earn revenue by giving your user-supplied data to brands who use it to market to you. Now, a new app will compensate Americans for the data they permit to be shared.
This TechRepublic Premium ebook compiles the latest on cancelled conferences, cybersecurity attacks, remote work tips, and the impact this pandemic is having on the tech industry.
New York-based privacy app Killi, in partnership with data science and technology company 0ptimus, has introduced what it calls the Fair Trade Data program. Its users can be financially compensated for sharing their personal data with other brands or social platforms. The app collects your personal and demographic information directly from users, through its mobile and web application.
This personally identifiable information includes user date of birth, email address, phone number, gender, current country of residence, location, and mobile advertising ID (MAID).
Killi also provides transparency as to what data was purchased, by which company and for how much.
There are four ways to earn by using the Killi app: Through data sharing, surveys, offers, and watching videos (on Android only). The user can decide what they would like to share and what they would not like to share.
The data that they share will be used to create audiences of categories such as Republican voters.
Killi will share a portion of all data sales revenue with consumers every month — potentially up to a dozen payouts — depending on how much their data is used and how much it was purchased for.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in force across the EU for two years. It requires explicit consent from consumers for the use of their data.
The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), which mirrors GDPR, has been live since Jan. 1, 2020. Brands and companies are looking for a new source of compliant data to power their businesses.
Killi has expanded from selling its users’ location data to a wider audience taxonomy across the multi-billion dollar data targeting market.
Previously, there was no fair trade/ethical data in these markets, so expanding to these platforms such as LiveRamp and Adobe allows the company to connect the consumer into the largest data buying engines in the world.
When this data is purchased (i.e. for $10), 50% of the proceeds will then be fractionally shared with those who contributed data for that month’s audience dividend. Killi intends to redistribute wealth back to the owner of the data — the consumer.
Instead of using location or video data, the audience dividend is divided amongst the user base. If an audience segment generated $1,000 across a base of 500 people, $500 would be taken from $1,000 sale and divided by the 500 people that contributed their data.
The minimum cash out is dependent on the source of the redemption channel. PayPal mandates $5 as does Amazon, so at minimum users will need $5 in their account.
Neil Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Killi said. “We believe we are for the first time not only creating transparency for consumers but passive compensation for them as well. With the unemployment rate now at 13 percent and growing, the need for a redistribution of wealth to help supplement income for those who need it most is more crucial now than ever before.”
Through the Killi platform, consumers can earn an additional income whilst they are at home for sharing data like their political affiliation or shopping behavior. They can also see which companies collect their data and control exactly what is shared.
For years, the data market has harvested consumer data without the consumer knowing anything. This app allows you to take back control of your data and earn money if the data is used.
Principles for Digital Development by The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)
The Principles for Digital Development are nine living guidelines that are designed to help integrate best practices into our new 4IR Foruth Industrial Revolution driven technology-enabled world and related programs and are intended to be updated and refined over time to enable society and organisations.
These Nine Principles for Digital Development are: Principles for Digital Development
Design With the User
Understand the Existing Ecosystem
Design for Scale
Build for Sustainability
Be Data Driven
Use Open Standards, Open Data, Open Source, and Open Innovation
Reuse and Improve
Address Privacy & Security
The Nine Principles for Digital Development include guidance for every phase of the project life cycle. These are part of an ongoing effort among development practitioners to share knowledge and support continuous learning.
The Digital Principles were created in a community-driven effort, the result of many lessons learned through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in development projects.
In an article by Dinis Guarda in intelligenthq.com Digital Transformation: How to Be a Business in a Time of 4IR AI Blockchain Fintech “According to a World Bank Study there are over 400 to 500 million SMEs & startups in the world and this number continues to grow. But as John Chambers, from Cisco System pointed out, “at least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.” Growth in our era of disruptive technologies is being willing to ‘change, learn and relearn’ even if what these businesses knew previously brought them success. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, thus, is not about new TechApps or new technologies, it is about change relearn and keep transforming.”
As the use of technology – from mobile phones and tablets to computers and UAVs – increases globally, so does their use in international development. More and more, technology is being integrated into service delivery across sectors such as education, health, agriculture, finance, and humanitarian assistance, amongst others.While these technologies have the potential to increase efficiency, cost effectiveness and impact across these sectors, there are still major barriers to ensure that their impact is fully realized. The Principles for Digital Development are a tool to help realize that full potential of ICTs. They offer nine specific best practices, each with a set of guiding questions, resources, and project lifecycle applications that will help you implement the Principles on your project.The goal of the Digital Principles is to use the hard-won knowledge of the community to make all of our projects better. As you learn new lessons through your own experiences, we hope that you will share them to help move everyone forward.
All are encouraged to use them. From Principle to Practice:
Implementing the Principles for Digital Development opens a culmination of rich and detailed discussions about these Principles by more than 500 individuals representing over 100 organizations working in international development.
The report and research around these principles captures experiences, insights, and questions and presents a set of recommendations about how organisations can chart a path forward in digital development.
In the late 2000s, donors and implementing organizations began to recognize that digital development programs were fragmented, uncoordinated, siloed, and struggled to scale or sustain themselves in the long term. To address these challenges, global organisations such as Gates Foundation, other donors and implementers began discussing how to understand and share best practices in the use of ICT tools in international development.
These conversations led to multiple principlaes such as the UNICEF Innovation Principles of 2009, the Greentree Principles of 2010, and the UK Design Principles, amongst others.The Nine Principles for Digital Development are an attempt to unify those previous principles and create a community of practice for those who work in digital development. The Digital Principles were first created in consultation with organizations such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the UN’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Who else is actively working on digital development? How can organisations reach them?
There are thousands of people and orang using ICTs for development around the world. The ICT4D community has over 800 members with a wide range of experience, including funders, implementers, government officials, and others. We invite you to join the community and explore the resources others have shared, ask a question, or share a useful tool.
The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL)
This is an initiative of The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) advances digital inclusion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so that all women, men and children can benefit from life-enhancing, mobile-based digital services.
In order to achieve the SDGs, digital technology needs to become easier for development practitioners to incorporate into service delivery. DIAL’s work focuses on streamlining technology, unlocking markets and accelerating the rate at which others can deploy digitally enabled services.
A partnership among USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Swedish government and the United Nations Foundation, DIAL’s efforts help accelerate the collective efforts of government, industry and development organizations to realize this vision.
DIAL is staffed by a global team and is guided by a board of leading emerging market entrepreneurs, technologists and development experts. With this leadership, DIAL is uniquely positioned to serve as a neutral broker, bringing together government, industry and other development stakeholders to promote new solutions to old problems.
Source and links
Digital Impact Alliance https://digitalimpactalliance.org/
Principles For The Digital Principles https://digitalprinciples.org/
The Journalism Industry, Threatened by the Tech Giants, Pushed to the Brink of Collapse by Coronavirus
WASHINGTON, DC – The journalism industry has never failed to be there for its readers, delivering vital information even in times of national emergency. As the Coronavirus pandemic spreads across the United States, upending daily life for practically everyone, Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, says its best, “We need the news. And the news needs us.”
News outlets have been designated as essential services and remain open and publishing despite the closure of business in large portions of the country. America’s health care workers are on the front lines of this battle, but reporters are often there too, telling their stories. Journalists are also communicating critical information to their communities about the decisions and recommendations of public health officials.
As the virus spreads, many news outlets are dropping paywalls and offering dramatically reduced subscriptions rates in order to deliver the news on the virus to as large an audience as possible. And Americans are turning to their favored news outlets more and more during this crisis. According to the New York Times, overall visits to news sites traffic have increased by 57 percent.
Such a surge in traffic should be translating into higher ad revenue. But the marketplace has been broken by the tech giants.
Google and Facebook have siphoned off tens of billions in revenue that used to go to news outlets. Newspaper ad revenue declined by nearly 50 percent from 2011-2018 to $14.3 billion, while Google and Facebook’s revenue more than quadrupled to $171.2 billion. The UK Competition and Markets Authority found that the returns that Google and Facebook make in the digital advertising market were so high that it is “consistent with the exploitation of market power.”
In this broken marketplace, the surge in traffic to news websites from Americans looking for information on the Coronavirus is not translating into additional revenue. According to a graph from Ezoic on ad revenue, the gap between this year and last year continues to grow.
Additionally, some advertisers are refusing to place their ads next to stories covering the pandemic.
This is why even though the crisis is less than a month old, newspapers remain open and operational, and much larger audiences are reading their material, dozens of newspapers have shut down or reduced publications, hundreds of journalists have been laid off, and nearly 700 news outlets have imposed furloughs or pay cuts.
The last great economic crisis hit the journalism industry hard, with ad revenue declining by 40% from 2007-09. Thanks to the market dominance of Google and Facebook, it never recovered. If urgent action isn’t taken to save journalism, much of the journalism industry in America will cease to exist.
The following is a statement from John Stanton, former DC Bureau Chief for BuzzFeed and co-founder of the Save Journalism Project:
It is clear that we have and always will have a need for the fourth estate. From protecting our democracy, to keeping those in authority held accountable and in this current state, combating a pandemic sweeping our globe, the news has always been there for us and yet big tech continues to fail it. While Google, Apple and Facebook have always been the villain behind news outlets’ demise, this pandemic is exacerbating and inflaming newspapers’ reality — newspapers, despite their heroic reporting, are being starved of its rightfully earned money and it’s all in the numbers.
But you have a role here, too. Reading your local newspaper is a crucial first step to keeping news outlets as an essential service to our country, but certainly not our only one. As newspapers continue to see declining ad revenue, we as consumers must step up to preserve these institutions that tell the stories that matter the most to you.
If we want to come out of this crisis united, we must encourage a thriving news industry and that starts with donating and supporting your local newsrooms. As a community of consumers, who desperately rely on this reporting, we must save the fourth estate or else a future crisis will go unreported.
Journalism in America is facing an existential threat from the monopolistic control of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Apple. Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms are having drastic effects on journalism as a whole.
Coronavirus Covid 19: Portugal grants temporary citizenship rights to migrants
In a global unique and first government humanitarian act the Portuguese government is granting citizenship rights to all migrants and asylum seekers who have residency applications underway.
The move is intended to ensure everybody who needs it has access to social security and health care while the country battles the spread and effects of coronavirus. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Portuguese Government has decided that all immigrants with residence permit applications that were pending at the Aliens and Borders Office (SEF) on 18th March will receive permission for temporary residence and have access to the same rights as all other citizens, including social support. The measure also includes asylum seekers.
Recently the total number of infections in Portugal stood at 7,443, with 160 deaths – the country sentiment is -14.28.
Police have been stepping up surveillance measures to enforce social distancing, with the use of drones in Porto and Lisbon.
And in the capital, the army is distributing food to the homeless, as the country attempts to battle the coronavirus that has caused lockdowns around the world.
Those who are in the process of applying for citizenship will be granted citizenship rights until at least July 1, the government announced on Saturday.
All migrants in Portugal will be treated as permanent residents until 1 July to ensure they have access to public services during the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.
Claudia Veloso, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, told the news agency:
“People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed. In these exceptional times, the rights of migrants must be guaranteed.”
Applauding the decision, Richard Danziger, a regional director of UN Migration, said Regional Director, said: “People should not be deprived of their rights to health and public service just because their application has not yet been processed.”
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, said it is “important to guarantee the rights of the most fragile, as is the case of immigrants”.
“It is a duty of a society of solidarity in times of crisis to ensure that immigrant citizens have access to health and social security,” he explained.
The SEF order was first published by national newspaper Diário da República, asserting that the goal of the new measure was to “unequivocally guarantee the rights of all foreign citizens with processes pending.”
Speaking to the PÚBLICO the leading portuguese news agency, the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, who oversees the SEF, said: “In a State of Emergency, the priority is the defence of collective health and safety. It is in these moments that it becomes even more important to guarantee the rights of the most fragile, as is the case of migrants. Ensuring the access of migrant citizens to health, social security and job and housing stability is a duty of a solidary society in times of crisis”.
The SEF has not yet provided the number of immigrants with pending applications. But, Mr. Cabrita clarified that current pending citizenship application through this service will resume from July 1st in chronological order. In other words, citizenship requests made to SEF haven’t simply been thrown out, they will resume when services return to normal. Applicants will have to wait for some form of contact from the SEF to receive their rescheduled appointments, the press office said.
One of the most common ways for an immigrant to apply for a residence permit for labour reasons, under articles 88 and 89 of the foreigners’ law, is to have an employment contract and to pay social security. Recent legal changes allow immigrants who have been working and paying their social security contributions for at least 12 months to obtain a residence permit even if they did not enter the country following regular procedures.
The latest data show that immigrants bring a positive net balance to the State of € 651 million, contributing € 746.9 million while receiving € 95.6 million in benefits.
UN Launch of Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 Coronavirus
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres was joined – virtually – by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Ms. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s Executive Director, and Mr. Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. The press conference was moderated by Ms. Melissa Fleming, Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications.
Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us online today at the United Nations to launch the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan.
UN-accredited members of the media have been invited to submit questions in advance, and we’ll come to those after our statements.
We will hear from the UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres, on the UN’s response to COVID-19. We will also hear on the latest preparedness and response from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
We also have on the line UNICEF Executive Director Ms. Henrietta Fore, who will speak to us about the challenges that children face around the world.
And the UN’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Mark Lowcock, will explain how the Global Humanitarian Response Plan will help fight against the virus in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.
COVID-19 has now a foothold in almost every country on earth with 375,498 confirmed cases today and over 16,000 deaths in 195 countries. At the United Nations, we are especially concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on fragile countries with weak health systems and vulnerable populations, particularly in camps or camplike settings and on malnourished children and on those with chronic diseases. With only a small number of cases so far having been reported in countries already facing humanitarian crises, we expect these numbers to rise.
So, next, the United Nations is focussed on ensuring that essential humanitarian relief operations continue while we also respond to this pandemic where WHO is in the lead.
Now I would like to invite the United Nations’ Secretary-General to take the floor. Secretary-General, over to you.
Secretary-General: The world faces an unprecedented threat.
The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly covered the globe. It has spread suffering, disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy.
COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back. Individual country responses are not going to be enough.
Wealthy countries with strong health systems are buckling under the pressure.
Now, the virus is arriving in countries already in the midst of humanitarian crises caused by conflicts, natural disasters and climate change.
These are places where people who have been forced to flee their homes because of bombs, violence or floods are living under plastic sheets in fields, or crammed into refugee camps or informal settlements.
They do not have homes in which to socially distance or self-isolate.
They lack clean water and soap with which to do that most basic act of self-protection against the virus – washing their hands.
And should they become critically ill, they have no way of accessing a healthcare system that can provide a hospital bed and a ventilator.
We must come to the aid of the ultra-vulnerable – millions upon millions of people who are least able to protect themselves.
This is a matter of basic human solidarity.
It is also crucial for combatting the virus.
The world is only as strong as our weakest health system. If we do not act decisively now, I fear the virus will establish a foothold in the most fragile countries, leaving the whole world vulnerable as it continues to circle the planet, paying no mind to borders.
This is the moment to step up for the vulnerable.
Older persons, persons with chronic illness and persons with disabilities face particular, disproportionate risks, and require an all-out effort to save their lives and protect their future.
We are also aware of the heavy impact the crisis is having on the world’s women across many fronts, in particular losses of livelihood, increased burdens of unpaid care labour, and the heightened exposure to domestic violence.
Today we are launching a $2 billion global humanitarian response plan to fund the fight against COVID-19 in the world’s poorest countries.
Coordinated by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, this interagency plan brings together existing appeals from the World Health Organization and other UN partners, and identifies new needs as well.
Properly funded, it will save many lives and arm humanitarian agencies and NGOs with laboratory supplies for testing, and with medical equipment to treat the sick while protecting health care workers.
The plan also includes additional measures to support host communities that continue to generously open their homes and towns to refugees and displaced persons.
We need to act now to stem the impact of COVID-19 in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts.
And we need to maintain support for existing humanitarian response plans on which 100 million people depend.
If such funding is diverted, the consequences could be catastrophic: the further spread of cholera, measles and meningitis; greater levels of child malnutrition; and a blow to the ability of these countries to combat the virus.
Let us do everything we can to prevent COVID-19 from wreaking havoc in places with limited healthcare capacity and resilience.
At the same time, we are doing our utmost to plan for and respond to early recovery in the countries around the globe that will need it most so that we achieve a new sustainable and inclusive economy that leaves no-one behind. I have asked United Nations Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams to support countries around the world in addressing the socio-economic implications of this pandemic, [which] will require an adequate funding mechanism.
But now we need to support this humanitarian response plan, which is a necessity for global health security.
It is a moral imperative and in everyone’s interests.
And it is a crucial part of winning this fight.
I appeal to Governments to give it their full support.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.
We now have the Director-General of WHO. Dr. Tedros, over to you.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: Your Excellencies, Secretary-General, colleagues, Mark and Henrietta.
I am pleased to join my colleagues from across the United Nations at this critical moment in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
I am pleased to join colleagues at this critical moment in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
I want to begin by reiterating the Secretary-General’s comments that now is the time for solidarity in the face of this threat to all of humanity.
As you know, the pandemic has accelerated over the last two weeks and while COVID-19 is a threat to people everywhere, what’s most worrying is the danger the virus poses to people already affected by crisis.
People and communities that are already uprooted due to conflict, displacement, the climate crisis or other disease outbreaks are the ones we must urgently prioritize.
Despite their resilience they do need our help today and this new plan lays out what has to happen right now, in order to save lives and slow the spread of this virus.
I implore leaders to stand together and heed this appeal, joining the Secretary-General’s call.
Since this outbreak was identified, WHO and our partners have been ramping up surveillance and lab testing across low- and middle-income countries.
We’ve brought scientists together to boost funding in the research and development of diagnostics, treatments and a future vaccine.
We’ve communicated online, via the media and in person with many world leaders, to ensure that preparations are accelerated and populations are sensitized.
And we’ve worked with business leaders to ensure supply chains are working and bottlenecks are overcome.
The new Global Humanitarian Response Plan builds on that effort and sets a six-point action plan for how to prepare and respond to this emergency:
First, the public must be effectively prepared for the critical measures that are needed to help suppress the spread and protect vulnerable groups, like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Second, ramp up surveillance and lab testing so that those with the virus can be identified quickly and isolated safely – helping to break the chains of transmission.
Third, prioritize treatment for those at highest risk of severe illness.
Fourth, slow, suppress and stop transmission to reduce the burden on health care facilities. This means safe hand washing; testing, isolating cases, and contact tracing, encouraging community-level physical distancing, and the suspension of mass gatherings and international travel.
For many on our planet following even this basic advice is a struggle but we as a global community must strive to make it possible.
Fifth, we’re building the ship as we sail and it’s critical that we continue to share learnings and innovations so that we can improve surveillance, prevention, and treatment. And ensure equitable access for the poorest to all R&D breakthroughs.
And finally, we need to protect the health and humanitarian supply chain so that our frontline workers are protected and able to travel freely as they give lifesaving care.
Our message to all countries is clear: heed this warning now, back this plan politically and financially today and we can save lives and slow the spread of this pandemic
History will judge us on how we responded to the poorest communities in their darkest hour.
Let’s act together, right now!
Ms. Fleming: Thank you very much, Dr. Tedros. And now I’d like to give the floor to the Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore.
Ms. Fore: In just a few months, COVID-19 has upended the lives of children around the world. Hundreds of millions are not in school. Hundreds of millions are not in school.
Parents and caregivers have lost their jobs. Borders have been closed.
Children are the hidden victims of this pandemic. We’re worried about its short- and long-term impacts on their health, their well-being, their development and their prospects.
We’re worried about their lack of access to water and hygiene services. As you know, washing hands with soap is critical in the fight against COVID-19. And yet, 40 per cent of the world’s population – or 3 billion people – do not have a handwashing facility with water and soap at home.
Even worse, 16 per cent of healthcare facilities, or 1 in 6, do not have hygiene services. And nearly 900 million children worldwide lack basic hygiene services at their school.
We’re worried about their education. More than half of the world’s students have been affected by nation-wide school closures in at least 120 countries.
We hope that most of these students will resume their learning as soon as the situation improves. However, we know from experience that for vulnerable children, the longer they stay away from school the less likely they are to return.
These closures are not only limiting the access to learning — but to school nutrition, health programmes, clean water and accurate information.
And that is why UNICEF is working with education ministries around the world to identify alternative learning programmes and opportunities, whether learning classes online or through radio and TV programmes.
We have also issued guidance, along with WHO and IFRC, to advise parents, teachers, school administrators and others on how to keep children learning while keeping them safe.
We’re worried about children’s protection. We know from previous health emergencies that children are at heightened risk of exploitation, violence and abuse when schools are closed, and jobs are lost, and movement is restricted.
For example, school closures during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa from 2014 to 2016 resulted in spikes in child labor, neglect, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancies.
We’re worried about their access to basic health services, including immunization and the treatment of childhood diseases. We cannot save one child from COVID-19, and then lose many to pneumonia, measles and cholera.
We’re also worried about their mental health. Children and young people are missing out on some of the best moments of their young lives — chatting with friends, participating in class, and enjoying sports. This increases anxiety and can cause changes in behavior. We have put out guidance for parents, teachers, and children and young people to help them cope during these challenging times. Depression and mental health are real, and are affecting one in three of us.
We’re particularly worried about the millions of children on the move or living through conflicts. For them, the consequences of the pandemic will be unlike any that we have seen. As the secretary-general mentioned, these children live in overcrowded conditions, often in active war zones, with limited or non-existent access to health care. A family of six, eight, ten or 12 can be living in one room. Self-isolation and handwashing with soap will not be easy in such environments.
That is why funding this global humanitarian response plan for COVID-19 is so essential.
UNICEF alone is appealing for US $405 million for our response in emergency countries. We are also seeking an additional $246.6 million for our response in non-emergency countries.
So, our total appeal is for US $651.6 million.
With support from the international community, we can, together, shore up preparedness and response plans in countries with weaker healthcare systems.
We can ramp up access to proper handwashing and sanitation services.
We can expand our engagement with communities to provide the information they need to avoid contagion.
We can maintain a steady flow of personal protection equipment — such as gowns, masks, goggles and gloves — to support infection prevention and control while keeping our essential, hard-working health workers safe.
And we can continue working with governments to strengthen protection services, psychosocial support and remote learning opportunities for all the children, and particularly for the most vulnerable children.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Henrietta Fore from UNICEF.
Now, finally, to Mark Lowcock, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations’ Emergency Relief Coordinator. Over to you, Mark.
Mr. Lowcock: Thank you, Melissa. And thank you Secretary-General, Tedros, and Henrietta. The COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan is a joint effort.
It will address the immediate humanitarian consequences of this pandemic in countries which already face other humanitarian crises across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The plan consolidates existing COVID-19 appeals and is based on contributions from the World Health Organization, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHABITAT, UNHCR and UNICEF, as well as contributions from many leading humanitarian NGOs and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement.
It will be implemented by UN agencies, with international NGOs and NGO consortia playing a direct role in the response.
Properly funded, it will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and it will save lives.
We know the virus is now arriving in some of the places least equipped to deal with it.
Once there it will undoubtedly hit the most vulnerable hardest — including women, older people, people with disabilities, and refugees, migrants and displaced people.
In Africa – Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia have already confirmed their first cases.
The virus is starting to spread across the continent despite efforts by governments and society to hold it back.
In the Middle East – the first case in Syria has been reported.
We know the impacts of this virus in these places could be catastrophic.
So, today’s plan will equip humanitarian organizations to fight it.
It will allow UN agencies and NGOs to provide immediate assistance.
… WHO delivering lab equipment to test for the virus, and medical equipment to treat people;
… UNICEF and UNHCR installing handwashing stations in camps and settlements;
… UNICEF launching public information campaigns on how to protect yourself and others from the virus; and
… WFP establishing eight designated international and regional staging hubs in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. They will provide air transport services through cargo airlifts and passenger transport to get NGO, UN and other aid workers, and aid supplies right to the front line.
… and WFP will also be building supply chains and contracting charter vessels to get humanitarian aid to people who need it, quickly.
The appeal will be regularly updated, probably month by month to keep pace with this virus’ spread and impact.
With a pandemic of this nature, there can be no half measures.
So, together, we ask governments to do two things.
First, pledge your support, financially and politically, to this response plan. We need $2 billion for the nine months from April.
And we need to act now to stem the impact of COVID-19 in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts.
Second, continue to support existing humanitarian response plans. If funding is diverted from those plans to tackle COVID-19 we would create circumstances in which cholera, measles and meningitis can thrive, in which even more children become malnourished, and in which extremists can take control. And that would be the perfect breeding ground for COVID-19.
So, funding this plan by withdrawing funds from ongoing humanitarian responses would be entirely counterproductive.
Not only would it undermine the ability of these countries to handle the virus. It would also undermine our efforts to combat COVID-19 globally.
A wide range of organisations, including many national and international NGOs will have a crucial role to play in the response, and they will be able to access the funding this plan generates through partner arrangements with UN agencies, pooled funding mechanisms – including the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pooled Funds – and through direct donor funding.
I want to stress that this plan is a plan for the entire Inter-Agency Standing Committee, working through all our clusters, not just the UN family. The airbridges and other services will be available to UN agencies but also to NGOs and other crucial aid workers.
We are also asking donors to top up the Country Based Pool Funds, which are a primary financing vehicle for NGOs, particularly national NGOs.
Because we need the full engagement of the NGO community to reach every affected community.
To kick-start the response plan, I am releasing an additional $60 million from the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund.
This new CERF allocation – which is one of the largest ever made – will support movement of aid workers and supplies, the protection of those most affected by the pandemic and additional water, health and sanitation services.
This allocation brings the Central Emergency Response Fund’s support for humanitarian action in response to the pandemic to $75 million.
Through the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan, we can prevent the disease from getting a foothold in places with limited healthcare capacity and very little resilience.
Together, we can push this virus back. We are counting on your support.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you very much, Mark.
Now we can take some of the questions that we’ve received in advance from journalists. This is how we’ve had to do it because we’re working in a digital… virtual world these days.
The first, I believe, would be… would go to Dr. Tedros and to Henrietta Fore. It’s from Jeremy [inaudible] from Radio France.
He says, there’s a common understanding that children are not easily affected by COVID-19, yet you say that children are “the hidden victims” of the pandemic. Can you elaborate on that and give us examples? By focussing on COVID-19, is there a risk? Also, that we see a backlash from other diseases like measles, which caused, I believe, 140,000 deaths in 2018, way more for now than COVID-19.
I believe Mark mentioned that a bit in his statement, but I’ll turn the floor first to Dr. Tedros to reply and then to Henrietta.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: Thank you, Melissa. We will be rushing to our other presser, actually. As you know, we have a regular press conference here.
And for the question you have asked, I have an excellent expert with me. Her name is Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove. So, I will give her the chance. Please. You have to get closer.
Dr. Van Kerkhove: So, thank you very much for the question related to children. I’m sorry. Yes. Thank you for the question as it relates to children. From our understanding of the epidemiology across the globe, children are infected. Children are susceptible to COVID-19 just as everyone else is, but what we’re seeing is we’re seeing lower attack rates or lower infection rates in children, certainly those that develop symptoms.
Of the children who have been infected by COVID-19, they tend to have more mild disease compared to adults and especially compared to older adults, but that is not universal. We have seen some children develop severe disease and critical disease, and we have had two children die globally. So, they are at risk, and they are a vulnerable population, and we need to do everything that we can to protect them.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Maria. Could I ask Henrietta Fore to also reply to this question. Henrietta.
Ms.Fore: Thank you, Melissa. Yes. So, the reason we believe that children are the hidden victims is because of a couple of factors. One is that they’re not able to go to school and, in many households, there is not someone there that can be their teacher. So, remote learning is not an option in some households. They do not have a connection to an Internet or a tablet. It is mostly the urban poor or the very poor, the most vulnerable that are hit hardest by this.
There is also an enormous amount of violence, both sexual and physical, that exists within homes and in communities. And as a result, when your parents are out of a job, there can often be a lot of stress at home. And as such, children can become victims.
We also find that what happens with children is that they don’t have a way to let out their emotions, because they’re not playing with other children; they’re not talking to their friends, and this is difficult for them. So, they become hidden victims in those ways.
And then there’s another side to it, which is that Mark mentioned that all of our other programmes to help governments with their health programmes are extremely important. Measles, cholera, many of the early childhood diseases, lack of immunisation, it all happens that those are needed now. And if we don’t help the children get that now, if we just focus on COVID-19, we will really lose the health for many of these children.
So, it’s multipart, but please keep in mind that COVID is one part of the world, that we have a humanitarian response for the whole world that we need help with. Thank you.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you. I think we have one more question for Dr. Tedros before he needs to go, and then, of course, journalists can tune in to the regular 12:00 WHO press conference, Geneva time.
This is from Jamil Chade, who is from the UOL website in Brazil. He’s referring to President Bolsonaro’s reference to COVID-19 as “a little flu,” and he said that he supports the idea of keeping everything open and said the media is to blame for this hysteria. How do you view this behaviour, which contradicts the recommendations by WHO?
Dr. Tedros: So, I would encourage him actually to the meeting… I mean to the next presser, but my short answer is, in many countries, ICUs are full, intensive care units, and it’s a very serious business. Thank you.
Ms. Fleming: Okay. I think… the next question, I think, could be answered by Mark Lowcock. It’s from Martin Jiangang Wang from the Xinhua News Agency. He asks… well, he says that it is easy for wealthy countries to open their pocketbooks when they are concerned that the likely global recession caused by COVID-19 will hit them. What would the UN do, instead, if money becomes a problem? Can you describe the conditions of healthcare infrastructures in conflict-ridden countries? How best can they cope with COVID-19?
Mr. Lowcock: Well, the point about the conflict-affected countries is they have the weakest health systems. They have the fewest facilities, the fewest number of health workers, and the scarcest availability of equipment. And, so, this is the easiest place, as we know from all the research, for the disease to take hold. And the problem is, if it takes hold there and it’s not dealt with there, it remains a threat to everybody. So, if anybody on the planet wants to be safe, the best approach is to keep the people in the most vulnerable places safe, and we know that, if we act early, we will have the best response. And that’s why we’re putting this Response Plan in place now.
We’re seeing huge economic stimulus plans being developed around the world, and that’s going to help, but it would be a smart strategy and an intelligent strategy for every developed country just to spend a little bit of their money on dealing with this problem in the most vulnerable places, as well, because that is part of what you need to do if you want to protect yourself against this pandemic.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Mark. This is a question for the Secretary-General from Pamela Falk from CBS News. Has the Secretary-General received support for this wartime effort proposal to the G20 that you delivered in your letter yesterday? What can world leaders do to mitigate the impacts of a global coronavirus-related recession or depression?
Secretary-General: I believe that world leaders need to do several things, first to articulate their programmes to make sure that they suppress the virus in their countries and that they make available the means and instruments necessary for that also to be done in the developing world that is not represented in the G20. They represent 80 per cent of world economy.
And part of it is, of course, what we are asking for, a drop in the ocean, $2 billion when, for instance, what is being mobilised by the US Senate for the US economy is 1,000 times more, 2 trillion US dollars.
The second thing that governments need to do is to make sure that they are able this is not a financial crisis; this is a human crisis they are able to mobilise vast amounts of resource, double-digit percentage of the economy of their countries or of the global economy if one looks at the support of the developing world, in order to be able to support essentially people and businesses, the people that have lost their jobs, the people that are losing their livelihoods, and the businesses that cannot survive in this environment.
We need to make sure that, independently of maintaining the liquidity in the financial systems, we recognise this is a human crisis and we address the resources to the people and the businesses in need to allow for them to cope with this challenge, and then to allow for a strategy, following strategy of… exit strategy that can keep the virus suppressed but allow for a progressive recovery of the economies all over the world.
And third thing that I think is very important is to make sure that the human… the support to the developing countries, the financial support to the developing countries, in all its aspects, through the IMF, through the international financial institutions, through bilateral aid but, namely, through this humanitarian appeal that [provides] support to the developing world to keep their economies afloat and to keep people being helped and to keep health systems being put in a way that they can respond to this challenge is absolutely essential.
The worst thing that could happen is to suppress the disease in the developed countries but let it spread like fire in the developing world, where then millions of transmissions will take place. Millions of people will die, and the risk of mutation would be there, which means that the virus could come back in ways that even vaccines that, I hope, will be soon developed wouldn’t be able to stop it again.
So, it’s enlightened self-interest of developed countries to support the developing world and, above all, to support those most vulnerable situations like the ones we are presenting in this humanitarian appeal.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Secretary-General. Our next question is from Ben Parker from The New Humanitarian. I believe this also should be addressed to you, Secretary-General.
The plan is presented as a joint effort from the IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee) members, UN and NGOs, but the non-funding element is a small fraction. Why?
And I think there’s a second part to the question, which I’ll ask afterwards.
Secretary-General: I mean, this is essentially an appeal to raise emergency funds for emergency situations. This will be followed by many other initiatives that will be able to address aspects in which the question is not a question of funding, but it is all the policy-related questions in which our country teams are supporting governments in order to make sure that they provide the right support to the communities that are more in a vulnerable situation.
Ms. Fleming: Okay. And then the second part of the question, perhaps to Mark, the coordination structure has WHO in charge of health, UNHCR for refugees, and you, Mr. Lowcock, and the IASC – and a committee for the rest. Isn’t that a recipe for confusion?
Mr. Lowcock: This coordination structure is a tight, tried and tested approach to deal with these kinds of problems. It models exactly what we’ve done in dealing with the Ebola outbreaks across Africa. The point about the pandemic is that no one agency on its own can give all the help a country needs. So, it requires a collective response and, you know, the world is lucky to have hundreds of very capable humanitarian agencies the UN, the Red Cross, the NGOs full of expert, courageous people who are ready and willing to tackle this problem, and working together is the best way to get the necessary support to the people who are at most risk.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you, Mark. And the third part of Ben’s question I’ll combine with a question from Philippe Rater from AFP. How much money is the UN asking for? In total, we see that UNICEF has asked for 246.6 million on top of the amount in the appeal today. Do you have one number for all requirements?
And then from Philippe, the UN is looking for 2 billion. What is the date you expect to get this amount, and which countries do you plan to get aid to first?
Mr. Lowcock: Well, shall I start on that, Melissa? What we’re presenting in the collective plan is $2 billion, which we need to implement those crucial programmes in the next nine months. As the Secretary-General said, there will be a series of other initiatives that the UN will take, especially on socioeconomic issues and helping with recovery and so on, and those are under development.
And I think that the additional point that Henrietta’s made is that, beyond the 40 first-phase countries, those that are most vulnerable, where the risk is highest and the requirement for action is most urgent, there will be other needs as well, and UNICEF has started to lay that out in their other documentation. So, I think that’s how this all fits together.
Ms. Fleming: Okay. While we have you, Mark, Sarah Walton from Feature Story News Agency wants to know, how will the UN… and this is perhaps to Henrietta, as well. How will the UN keep aid workers safe while delivering this support? Will they be practicing social distancing? And, if so, how will that affect their ability to help people?
Mr. Lowcock: So, we’ve issued, for all aid workers, again, through the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, a raft now of new guidance on how to operate in these circumstances, including on the crucial question of keeping our aid workers safe as they do their work at the front line.
One of the most important parts of this appeal is to enable us to scale up air services so that we can get to the front line and also give our frontline workers a chance to come out and recover and recuperate and so on. And we need a big scaleup in that, for the NGO staff, for the UN staff, for the Red Cross, to compensate for the reduced availability of commercial air services. So, I really hope everyone will focus particularly on that element of the appeal.
Of the money I’m allocating from the CERF (Central Emergency Response Fund), $20 million is going to that element of the appeal to kickstart this enhancement in air services, because it is absolutely crucial in order to keep all the frontline aid workers doing their job in combatting the pandemic.
Ms. Fleming: Henrietta.
Ms. Fore: Yes. So, I think there’s several parts to this. For our courageous health workers, they need protective equipment. And, as you know, the world is in short supply of many of these pieces. So, for instance, masks, very important for frontline healthcare workers, in a normal year, we will order about 25,000. We now have a worldwide demand of about 55 million. So, part of it will be getting the private sector to help us to manufacture enough masks and enough gowns and goggles and other things that will keep our healthcare workers safe.
The second is that we are trying some new ways of doing things. So, as you know, we are battling polio in several countries around the world. There are trained polio workers, who usually are in very close contact with children and babies and families. We now will ask them to take a pause and for them to redirect their efforts to help on COVID-19. These workers can help us on information, alerting families on what to do but also in how to care and how to have hygiene.
So, this is a worldwide issue. What the Secretary-General said about the importance of the developing world is true, and in the appeal, we have two stages. One is the part that, under the IASC, our designate
humanitarian urgent response countries, another for countries that are not as urgent, that are not in the appeal but we know they are going to need help, countries like South Africa and Senegal, like Mozambique. So, these countries also need help. This is a worldwide issue, and we can use all the help we can get.
Ms. Fleming: Okay. Okay. Thank you, Henrietta. A question for the Secretary-General from Edith Lederer from the Associated Press. She asked one question about funding, which I believe was answered.
Her second question is: Mr. Secretary-General, what’s your reaction to rebels in the Philippines agreeing to your request for a ceasefire? Have you received any other positive responses? And what are you doing to promote wider agreement to your appeal?
Secretary-General: Well, all our special envoys around the world are having, at the present moment, initiatives in this regard. We had one in Syria. We had one in Yemen, and the same is applying across the board. All our special envoys and special representatives are taking diplomatic initiatives with both governments, different armed groups, in order… or when there is a conflict between the states, in order to make sure that we silence the guns.
That group has announced it. Other groups have done the same. I’m encouraged to see the truce holding with difficulties in Libya. I hope that it will be possible in Yemen and Syria to make serious progress.
I see, in other contexts, different parties to a conflict cooperating in order to respond to this dramatic situation. To give an example, in fighting COVID-19, the Palestinian Authority and Israel have been able to work together, even if we know the extreme division that exists politically between the two.
So, I see a clear conscience emerging that it’s time to stop the conflicts in order to concentrate our effort in the real war we are facing, and that is war against COVID-19.
Ms. Fleming: Thank you to the press corps for tuning in. Thank you to our panellists. I’m afraid we couldn’t answer, due to time restrictions, all of the questions, but we will endeavour to get answers to those who… questions that remain to you over the phone or in writing.
So, thank you very much for tuning in, and thank you for supporting us with your coverage so that we can raise the $2 billion necessary to help the most vulnerable people of this world. Thank you.
We created the new digital empowerment project www.citiesabc.com out of the need to unite and reinvent cities.
We would love for you to collaborate with us to create a better narrative for our cities and communities in this world of increasingly change and disruption.
The cities abc platform aims to unite and create resources for cities and citizens and works as a cities abc, a wiki cities platform (now in beta) that will become a decentralised movement and marketplace using the best of the Foruth Industrial Revolution 4IR and Blockchain, AI and fintechtechnologies!
We all live in cities today. Cities are the epicentre of our humanity social models. But cities need to become smart, need digital transformation. Need all of us aligned to create more sustainable models and better health and wellness. Special in a moment like we are there is more than ever a critical need to align efforts and find new ideas, projects and enable our digital tools to unite us and find better ways.
Now more than ever in a world global technology connected we as citizens and our cities are facing so much bigger challenges than our previous generations. We need a new humanity based in a betterment cities abc narrative.
We can make change. We can reinvent, unite, support, rank with new empowerment tools the m cities/nations with a 4IR Blockchain, AI, Fintech, IOT digital platform.
We need a tech blockchain, AI new 4IR Magna Carta for our cities – our communities and find how to use our digital tools and platforms to coordinate, support and unite cities and their struggling populations.
can we create a #citiesabc 4IR Magna Carta for our Cities & Nations?
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
“Magna Carta still forms an important symbol of liberty today, often cited by politicians and campaigners, and is held in great respect by the British and American legal communities.
The original Magna Carta Libertatum (Medieval Latin for “Great Charter of Freedoms”), was done more than 800 years ago and the commonly called Magna Carta (also Magna Charta; “Great Charter”), was a major breakthrough in vision and creating a new narrative for social economic powers. This document of the Thirteen venture was an inception charter of rights that was initially agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215.
The document was First drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. At the time this was unique as a legal and government documentation but also as a solution for the social issues of the time.
4IR Blockchain: Magna Carta for Internet
There are strong synergies between the 4IR blockchain and Magna Carta. Magna Carta provided the framework for modern-day governance through the rule of law, the fourth Industrial revolution and special blockchain is able to provide a framework to govern the information and data, with code and programmes.
With 4IR and blockchain technology, Bitcoin, has proved this point for more than 10 years. Nowadays Blockchain technology has been used more widely in different sectors, it will construct a more defined and profound framework for this digital world.Another similarity between Magna Carta and blockchain comes from the decentralised nature of the both. Symbolically, the Magna Carta decentralized the political power, through law, Kings and Nobles not immune to rule of law, and ensured people’s. Similarly, highly decentralized networks generated by blockchain technology are providing an open foundation with strong assurances for objective property rights, impersonal rules and consistent enforcement. Blockchain can ensure people to have right on data with decentralized system, without the centralized control from government, and commercial giants, such as google, facebook etc.
Magna Carta marks the equal rights from elites to everyman politically, and blockchain will continue the spirit and realise the goal through technology.
Before blockchain was invented, people have little or no ownership over the digital information/fortune that they create or the value that derives from it. Now it gives the ownership of data/money back to users. Blockchain secures data to be replicated across several unrelated nodes. No single node can act as a gatekeeper and assume control of your data. Transactions in the ledger are stored in a permanent and verifiable way. Users who store information on the blockchain retain access to it through encryption keys, independent of the service or application that generated it. With the state of arts technology, people will enjoy the whole ownership of all things (data, information, fortune) that should belong to them. This is the spirit of Magna Carta as well — give the rights and choices back to people. This will make us live in a better world.
Businesses and customers all want to get better service with a cheaper price. Due to its decentralized nature, Blockchain removes the need for middlemen in many processes for fields such as payments and real estate. In comparison to traditional financial services, blockchain facilitates faster transactions by allowing P2P cross-border transfers with a digital currency. Property management processes are made more efficient with a unified system of ownership records, and smart contracts that would automate tenant-landlord agreements.
Blockchain also provides the opportunity of a far more secure method than other record keeping systems, because each new transaction is encrypted and linked to the previous transaction. Blockchain, as the name suggests, is formed by a network of computers coming together to confirm a ‘block’, this block is then added to a ledger, which forms a ‘chain’. Blockchain is formed by a complicated string of mathematical numbers and is impossible to be altered once formed. This immutable and incorruptible nature of blockchain makes it safe from falsified information and hacks. It’s decentralized nature also gives it a unique quality of being ‘trustless’ – meaning that parties do not need trust to transact safely.
With the blockchain ledger, each time an exchange of goods is recorded on a Blockchain, an audit trail is present to trace where the goods came from. This can not only help improve security and prevent fraud in exchange-related data, supply chain, identity sources for cities, citizens, its organisations and businesses, but it can also help verify the authenticity of the property, forms of communication, traded assets. In wellness and helathcare medicine, as we are now facing the biggest pandemic could be used to monitor clinic trials, track the supply chain from manufacturer to distributor, or in the food, provenance industry to provide an irrefutable proof of source and ownership.
Beyond numerous new services and products that blockchain could bring to us, it also has a meaning for data decentralisation and freedom. The British Library recently conducted a survey with about 3,000 participants with the purpose of creating a digital “Magna Carta” for the Internet age, resulting in a top ten list of declarations for the World Wide Web. Roughly 500 stipulations were conceived by the surveyed group, ages 10-18.
The biggest ultimatum given was for the Internet to be free from control of governments or corporate entities. The number 1 clause for the Digital Magna Carta reads:
“The Web we want will not let companies pay to control it, and not let governments restrict our right to information.”
Align with the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta (June 15, 1215) and the 25th birthday of the World Wide Web, British Library launched a project called “Magna Carta: My Digital Rights”. Young people should think about issues of privacy, access and freedom in the digital age, originally raised by Magna Carta. And Blockchain is one of the tools to achieve this goal.
With the fast development of blockchain, and the synergies between Magna Carta and 4IR and technologies such as BlockChain, AI Magna Carta should be granted a new meaning: a symbol of liberty, empowerment in the technology and innovation, special for our organisations and cities.
4IR Blockchain: Magna Carta cities ABC solution
There are strong synergies between the 4IR blockchain and the Magna Carta concept.
Like in the XXIII century Magna Carta provided the framework for modern-day governance through the rule of law, the fourth Industrial revolution and special blockchain is able to provide a framework to govern our cities and the necessary related information and data, with code and programmes.
With 4IR and blockchain technology, that although coming from decentralized governance of Bitcoin, has proved this point for more than 10 years.
Nowadays 4IR and foundational technologies such as AI and Blockchain have been used more widely in different sectors, and Id well user can be the right tools that will construct a more defined and profound framework for this digital world and special for our cities where most of humanity lives!
In times of pandemic crisis the use of technologies as a frame for governance is more important than ever. But much more has to be done to align the power of technologies for good and as the Magna Carta was critical 800 years ago. We need that nowadays when healthcare and the world economy and society are showing our issues as a society that is divided in our values and usage of technologies.
The right uses of 4IR technologies can be confined to create a Magna Carta of hope and we have to do it in P2P decentralized platforms that can reflect the best of our society in a circular economy ecosystem that is inclusive and outside of any doctrine of fear and greediness.
That is our mission with citiesabc.com to create a diverse plural digital transformation hub for cities and more important their citizens and ecosystems!
We are al in this together and we have to enhance this movement as a ways to empower the best of our world and not succumb Olin the worst that can come out of it.
History over and over again proved that only when we align ideas and values with the best of our skills and technologies we can prosper and solve the challenges each generation one way or the other faces!
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