Synchronoss Finalizes Agreement with iQmetrix to Divest Digital Experience Platform and Activation Solutions

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. ("Synchronoss" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: SNCR), a global leader and innovator in cloud, messaging and digital products and platforms, today announced the successful completion of the sale of its Digital Experience Platform ("DXP") and Activation Solutions ("Activation") to iQmetrix, a leading provider of telecom retail management software. The divestiture was formally announced on March 8, 2022.

"The sale of DXP and Activation is part of our strategic plan to create a leaner business model that focuses on our core growth areas for the future," said Jeff Miller, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Synchronoss. "Closing this deal is favorable for Synchronoss's long–term product focus areas. It provides us with operating flexibility to improve our capital structure and to accelerate the development of new product offerings in our key areas such as our cloud portfolio."

"As a trusted provider of intelligent retail management software, iQmetrix is the natural acquirer of choice for the Digital Experience Platform and Activation Solutions," said Ryan Volberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of iQmetrix. "We're very excited as this supports our plans to be the number one enabler of personal connected devices globally. In such a relentlessly changing industry, this is the next big step of many that we're excited to take to help us create great experiences in the telecom space."

The DXP and Activation offerings enable telecom operators and retailers around the globe to create, orchestrate and manage digital experiences across all channels. Following the sale, the Synchronoss digital business portfolio includes its Financial Analytics and spatialSUITE products as well as the iNow Platform.

About Synchronoss
Synchronoss Technologies (Nasdaq: SNCR) builds software that empowers companies around the world to connect with their subscribers in trusted and meaningful ways. The company's collection of products helps streamline networks, simplify onboarding, and engage subscribers to unleash new revenue streams, reduce costs and increase speed to market. Hundreds of millions of subscribers trust Synchronoss products to stay in sync with the people, services, and content they love. That's why more than 1,500 talented Synchronoss employees worldwide strive each day to reimagine a world in sync. Learn more at www.synchronoss.com.

Media Relations Contact:
Domenick Cilea
Springboard
dcilea@springboardpr.com

Investor Relations Contact:
Matt Glover / Tom Colton
Gateway Group, Inc.
SNCR@gatewayir.com


ROSEN, TOP RANKED GLOBAL INVESTOR COUNSEL, Encourages Riskified Ltd. Investors to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – RSKD

NEW YORK, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Riskified Ltd. (NYSE: RSKD) pursuant and/or traceable to the Registration Statement issued in connection with the Company's initial public offering conducted on or about July 28, 2021 (the "IPO" or "Offering"), of the important July 1, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Riskified securities pursuant and/or traceable to the IPO you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Riskified class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=5896 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than July 1, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources, or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually handle securities class actions, but are merely middlemen that refer clients or partner with law firms that actually litigate the cases. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, the IPO Registration Statement was negligently prepared and, as a result, contained untrue statements of material fact or omitted to state other facts necessary to make the statements made not misleading and were not prepared in accordance with the rules and regulations governing their preparation. Specifically, the IPO Registration Statement made inaccurate statements of material fact because they failed to disclose the following adverse facts that existed at the time of the IPO: (1) as Riskified expanded its user base, the quality of Riskified's machine learning platform had deteriorated (rather than improved as represented in the Registration Statement), because of, among other things, inaccuracies in the algorithms associated with onboarding new merchants and entering new geographies and industries; (2) Riskified had expanded its customer base into industries with relatively high rates of fraud "" including partnerships with cryptocurrency and remittance business "" in which Riskified had limited experience and that this expansion has negatively impacted the effectiveness of Riskified's machine learning platform; (3) as a result, Riskified was suffering from materially higher chargebacks and cost of revenue and depressed gross profits and gross profit margins during its third fiscal quarter of 2021; and (4) thus, the Registration Statement's representations regarding Riskified's historical financial and operational metrics and purported market opportunities did not accurately reflect the actual business, operations, and financial results and trajectory of Riskified prior to and at the time of the IPO, and were materially false and misleading, and lacked a factual basis. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Riskified class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=5896 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, A GLOBALLY RECOGNIZED FIRM, Encourages Li-Cycle Holdings Corp. f/k/a Peridot Acquisition Corp. Investors with Losses to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action First Filed by the Firm – LICY, PDAC

NEW YORK, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds purchasers of the securities of Li–Cycle Holdings Corp. f/k/a Peridot Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: LICY, PDAC) between February 16, 2021 and March 23, 2022, inclusive (the "Class Period"), of the important June 20, 2022 lead plaintiff deadline in the securities class action commenced by the Firm.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Li–Cycle securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Li–Cycle class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=4885 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 20, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Many of these firms do not actually handle securities class actions, but are merely middlemen that refer clients or partner with law firms that actually litigate the cases. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Li–Cycle's largest customer, Traxys North America LLC, is not actually a customer, but merely a broker providing working capital financial to the Company while Traxys tries to sell Li–Cycle's product to end customers; (2) the Company engaged in highly questionable related party transactions; (3) the Company's mark–to–model accounting is vulnerable to abuse and gave a false impression of growth; (4) a significant portion of the Company's reported revenues were derived from simply marking up receivables on products that had not been sold; (5) the Company's gross margins have likely been negative since inception; (6) the Company will require an additional $1 billion of funding to support its planned growth (which is a figure greater than the Company raised via the merger); and (7) as a result, defendants' public statements were materially false and/or misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Li–Cycle class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=4885 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


ROSEN, A LEADING LAW FIRM, Encourages Natera, Inc. Investors to Secure Counsel Before Important Deadline in Securities Class Action – NTRA

NEW YORK, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHY: Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, announces the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA) between February 26, 2020 and April 19, 2022, inclusive (the "Class Period"). A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 27, 2022.

SO WHAT: If you purchased Natera securities during the Class Period you may be entitled to compensation without payment of any out of pocket fees or costs through a contingency fee arrangement.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: To join the Natera class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=3115 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action. A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than June 27, 2022. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.

WHY ROSEN LAW: We encourage investors to select qualified counsel with a track record of success in leadership roles. Often, firms issuing notices do not have comparable experience, resources or any meaningful peer recognition. Be wise in selecting counsel. The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation. Rosen Law Firm has achieved the largest ever securities class action settlement against a Chinese Company. Rosen Law Firm was Ranked No. 1 by ISS Securities Class Action Services for number of securities class action settlements in 2017. The firm has been ranked in the top 4 each year since 2013 and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for investors. In 2019 alone the firm secured over $438 million for investors. In 2020, founding partner Laurence Rosen was named by law360 as a Titan of Plaintiffs' Bar. Many of the firm's attorneys have been recognized by Lawdragon and Super Lawyers.

DETAILS OF THE CASE: According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Panorama was not reliable and resulted in high rates of false positives; (2) Prospera did not have superior precision compared to competing tests; (3) as a result of defendants' false and misleading claims about Natera's technology, the Company was exposed to substantial legal and regulatory risks; (4) Natera relied upon deceptive sales and billing practices to drive its revenue growth; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, defendants' statements about the Company's business, operations, and prospects lacked a reasonable basis. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

To join the Natera class action, go to https://rosenlegal.com/submit–form/?case_id=3115 or call Phillip Kim, Esq. toll–free at 866–767–3653 or email pkim@rosenlegal.com or cases@rosenlegal.com for information on the class action.

No Class Has Been Certified. Until a class is certified, you are not represented by counsel unless you retain one. You may select counsel of your choice. You may also remain an absent class member and do nothing at this point. An investor's ability to share in any potential future recovery is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the–rosen–law–firm, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosenlawfirm/.

Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

———————————————–

Contact Information:

Laurence Rosen, Esq.
Phillip Kim, Esq.
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
275 Madison Avenue, 40th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tel: (212) 686–1060
Toll Free: (866) 767–3653
Fax: (212) 202–3827
lrosen@rosenlegal.com
pkim@rosenlegal.com
cases@rosenlegal.com
www.rosenlegal.com


Lighthouse Labs raises US$7M seed round, co-led by Accel, BlockTower and Animoca Brands, to build the open metaverse navigation engine

MONTREAL, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lighthouse, the company building the open metaverse navigation engine, today announces that it has raised a US$7 million seed round co–led by Accel, BlockTower and Animoca Brands. The round includes participation from White Star Capital, Sparkle Ventures, Gemini Frontier Fund, The Graph core developers StreamingFast, Tiny VC and angels including Patricio Worthalter (founder, POAP), Ryan Selkis (founder, Messari), Alex Svanevik (founder, Nansen), Thibault Launay (founder, Exclusible) and other high profile Web3 investors.

On the back of a year that saw virtual worlds like The Sandbox, Decentraland and Otherside sell hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of land and attract names such as Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger and Snoop Dogg, the metaverse has rapidly captured public interest. Many new worlds have emerged to empower creators and capitalize on a market opportunity estimated at US$680 billion by 2030 (Grand View Research). The ecosystem's rapidly growing level of fragmentation is making discovery an increasingly daunting experience for users and creators, who are now left wondering which world to explore and build experiences into.

Founded by Jonathan Brun and Justine Massicotte, Lighthouse seeks to solve this problem by simplifying discovery and mobility across the spatial web. Its platform, which will launch this summer, will enable users to search for places, events, creators, experiences, and even friends across and within virtual worlds. Beyond search, Lighthouse will offer a portal where users will be able to see trending activities, build groups of friends to explore the metaverse, see where their NFTs are usable and follow the work of specific brands and creators. Prior to launching Lighthouse, Jonathan Brun was Entrepreneur in Residence in White Star Capital's Digital Asset Fund while Justine Massicotte was in charge of the Query Suggest engine at Coveo, a publicly–traded enterprise search company with global operations.

"If you are curious about the metaverse and don't know where to start, Lighthouse will be the place to go," says Jonathan Brun, co–founder and CEO of Lighthouse. "Right now, discovery in the metaverse feels more like gaming, where you need to jump from one game to the next to find things, than the internet, where you can access everything from a single entry point. By building Lighthouse, we take the view that siloed worlds will eventually merge to become closer to the web. We've all seen how much standards and principles of openness propelled our digital lives with the internet. We are confident that Web3 virtual worlds will unite behind our vision of making the open metaverse a searchable place."

“Lighthouse has the exciting opportunity to build a part of the unifying infrastructure for the metaverse,” said Andrei Brasoveanu, Partner at Accel. “The power of the metaverse lies in making it discoverable to a broad range of users, creators, and brands. Jonathan and Justine have thought hard about the opportunity ahead and what it takes to enable everyone to immerse themselves in this increasingly fragmented virtual world. We're looking forward to partnering with the Lighthouse team on this journey!”

To power its platform, Lighthouse partners directly with the worlds for which it provides search capabilities. "Web search engines like Google or Brave use crawlers to discover publicly available web pages. However, because of the heavy and dynamic nature of 3D interactive media, powering real–time search across and within virtual worlds requires direct data integration. The open metaverse is still early, which gives us the opportunity to work hand–in–hand with projects to deploy standards that will ensure that the spatial web forms a cohesive unit," said Lighthouse's co–founder and CTO, Justine Massicotte.

Yat Siu, the executive chairman and co–founder of Animoca Brands, commented: "As a long–time builder and supporter of the open metaverse, Animoca Brands is well aware of Lighthouse's overall value proposition and in particular of the pain points that the company is working to solve. We believe that Jonathan and Justine have the right vision and expertise to execute and we look forward to providing our assistance as they expand the universe of worlds they partner with."

"As users will be spawning with their Avatars identity into many parallel virtual worlds in the open metaverse, we believe a new standard for a navigation system allowing for both content discovery and socialization layers will be needed, to aggregate metadata that facilitates connecting with your friends and communities across them and exploring content from one to another,” said Sebastien Borget, COO & co–founder of The Sandbox. “Lighthouse's vision just focuses on that and we are happy to be working closely with them at The Sandbox and look forward to continuing providing our support to make the future truly open, transparent and interoperable."

The funding will be used to grow Lighthouse's engineering and community teams, expand the universe of worlds it partners with and launch its platform in Summer 2022.

To stay up to date with Lighthouse, keep an eye on their Discord, Medium and follow them on Twitter.

About Lighthouse Labs
Lighthouse is an open metaverse navigation engine that enables the search for places, events, friends, creators, assets, and experiences across and within virtual worlds. Through its portal, Lighthouse empowers users to find trending activities, build groups of friends to explore the metaverse, see where their NFTs are usable and follow the work of specific brands and creators. Lighthouse powers its solution by directly integrating with the virtual worlds for which it provides searchability capabilities. For more information visit: https://www.lighthouselabs.xyz/

Lighthouse is currently looking to expand the universe of worlds it partners with. If you are building a virtual world and would like to collaborate, go to https://www.lighthouselabs.xyz/ to book an intro meeting with the Lighthouse team.

Media Contact
Cat Staffell
cat@serotonin.co


SOLVE FSHD Announces Appointment of Executive Director Dr. Eva Chin and Venture-Philanthropic Funding Structure

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following SOLVE FSHD's recent acclaimed launch, the organization is pleased to formally announce the appointment of Dr. Eva Chin as the Executive Director. SOLVE FSHD's Founder, Chip Wilson, has personally committed USD100 million to find a cure for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a rare disease he was diagnosed with at the age of 32. As the inaugural Executive Director for SOLVE FSHD, Dr. Chin will be responsible for aligning the organization's goals with the expertise of researchers, scientists and companies to promote and fund the discovery and development of new therapies for FSHD.

"Dr. Chin's experience and specialization in rare neuromuscular diseases add immense value to our organization. We are excited to gain her expertise and guidance to achieve the organization's goal of finding a cure for FSHD by December 2027," says Chip Wilson, SOLVE FSHD Founder. He added, "Within just a few weeks of the organization's launch, SOLVE FSHD has received a tremendous response to the call for qualified grant applications and new therapeutic technologies, which will be reviewed under Dr. Chin's leadership. In addition, she has worked tirelessly to build strong industry alliances for SOLVE FSHD, closely assessed the exciting projects to fund and facilitated collaborative funding opportunities across the academic and industry sectors in FSHD research and drug development."

Dr. Chin obtained her Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Waterloo in Canada and completed post–doctoral training at the University of Sydney, Australia and U.T. Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, focusing on intracellular calcium in muscle fatigue and transcriptional regulation of gene expression in muscle fibre type determination and muscle plasticity.

"I am honoured to join the Solve FSHD team, supporting Chip and the Wilson Family in our mission to improve the quality of life for those affected by rare neuromuscular diseases by funding qualified research projects and pre–clinical and clinical research that will accelerate finding a cure for FSHD," says Dr. Eva Chin, Solve FSHD Executive Director.

Dr. Chin's career has spanned the academic and pharmaceutical industries, with previous positions at Pfizer, the University of Maryland, MyoTherapeutics, Cytokinetics and NMD Pharma. While at Pfizer, Eva shifted her career from academic research focusing on cellular and molecular mechanisms of muscle function to discovering and developing muscle–targeted therapies. Over the past five years, she has led the nonclinical development of numerous drug candidates in clinical trials for ALS, SMA, myasthenia gravis and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Under Dr. Chin's guidance, Solve FSHD's venture–philanthropic funding model will strategically utilize Wilson's monetary commitment to support the initial grants, investments in early–stage companies focused on FSHD and to incentivize pharmaceutical companies in the neuromuscular disease space to increase their focus on FSHD. The venture philanthropy model will enable the organization to be financially self–sustainable through return on investments. The investments in viable, albeit high–risk, research opportunities may generate a continued re–investment stream into the organization to further support grant funding initiatives.

"To take advantage of recent advances in genetic therapeutics, SOLVE FSHD constructed a creative funding platform to facilitate the development of treatments that rapidly slow, stop or even reverse weakness in FSHD," said Dr. John Day, MD, Ph.D., Director of Stanford University's Neuromuscular Medicine program. "Having someone with Dr. Eva Chin's experience and capabilities join SOLVE FSHD is critical to establishing the scientifically rigorous program needed to define and validate safe and effective treatments as quickly as possible," says Dr. John Day, MD, Ph.D., Neuromuscular Medicine, Stanford Neuroscience Health Center.

About Solve FSHD
Solve FSHD is funding innovative biotech and biopharma research and development activities that accelerate novel treatments of Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) treatment. It is fully funded and created by Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Chip Wilson. The founder of yoga–inspired athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica inc. has been living with FSHD for the last three decades of his life. He has committed $100 million of his own money to create SOLVE FSHD and kick–start funding into projects that fit the organization's mission: accelerate research into new therapies and find a cure for the disorder by 2027.

Future announcements for grant funding will be issued on SOLVE FSHD's website – https://solvefshd.com/. For early–stage companies, contact SOLVE FSHD at info@solvefshd.com.

If you have FSHD and want to find out about clinical trials or be included in the FSHD registry, please see SOLVE FSHD's website – https://solvefshd.com/

For media inquiries or to request a media interview, please contact:
Kamran Shaikh, Account Director
PR Associates
kshaikh@prassociates.com
778–846–5406

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/0e87aacb–92f4–4723–9e7e–e24021cff5f7


Women Leading Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine, Now Include them in Leadership, say UN Women and CARE

Women have been highly impacted by the Ukraine war, and have headed humanitarian efforts in their communities, but are still absent from leadership positions. UN Women and Care called for their meaningful inclusion in planning and decision-making processes. Credit: Ed Holt/IPS

Women have been highly impacted by the Ukraine war, and have headed humanitarian efforts in their communities, but are still absent from leadership positions. UN Women and Care called for their meaningful inclusion in planning and decision-making processes. Credit: Ed Holt/IPS

By Naureen Hossain
New York, May 11 2022 – A joint UN Women and CARE report on the gender disparities in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis calls for donors and humanitarian partners to take greater care to promote the voices of women and marginalized communities in the humanitarian effort.

The Rapid Gender Analysis by UN Women and CARE, released on May 4, 2022, revealed the challenges and hardships women and minority groups face in Ukraine. UN Women and CARE officers conducted interviews with over 170 participants to determine how the war impacted their needs and concerns.

The war has affected multiple areas of life, from education and healthcare access to their livelihoods. In the last two months, women have emerged to take on more authority in households and the community, including community and civil society organizations.

Women have been at the forefront of humanitarian efforts, the report reveals. However, they have not been included in leadership or the decision-making process.

The risk is that current humanitarian efforts do not fully address the more complex needs of the affected civilians, such as the disabled, people who have already been displaced before the current crisis, and ethnic minorities, such as the Roma.

Among the report’s key findings, women, men, boys, and girls have different needs that must be considered in the humanitarian response.

However, the current frameworks of humanitarian aid need to improve to address their complex needs better.

Women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups face greater pressure with the compounded and intersectional impact of the crisis that can leave them more vulnerable in conflict or the loss of income.

Even though they are at the forefront of humanitarian efforts in their communities, they are not included in the decision-making process of how humanitarian aid is disseminated to even the most vulnerable groups.

Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, said: “It’s critical that the humanitarian response in Ukraine takes into account and addresses the different needs of women and girls, men and boys, including those that are furthest left behind…Women have been playing vital roles in their communities’ humanitarian response. They must also be meaningfully involved in the planning and decision-making processes to make sure that their specific needs are met, especially those related to health, safety, and access to livelihoods.”

A UN Women Media Compact event discussed the findings of the report and media experiences with reporting on the war in Ukraine through the lens of gender. Presenting the report at the event on Tuesday were Felicia Dahlquist, Programme Analyst from UN Women’s Ukraine office, and Siobhan Foran, CARE Gender in Emergencies Coordinator.

The speakers agreed that there was a need for gender-responsive and socially inclusive humanitarian efforts. This response could address the needs across different sectors, from providing shelter and non-food items (NFI) and education to lessening the care burden on mothers at home.

Dahlquist and Foran acknowledged that multiple areas need to be addressed all at once in a crisis. This runs the risk of other factors such as gender and diversity competing for attention.

Another recommendation was to increase communications to ensure accountability to the affected populations. This would mean implementing feedback and complaints mechanisms to ensure effective procedures and diverse communications channels to disseminate information on humanitarian aid to various groups.

A key topic of discussion was the role that media could play in reporting the stories of women, men, and minority groups on the humanitarian front.

The speakers said that the media has the ability, and thus a responsibility to address the ongoing issues that women and minorities deal with, to present the nuance and complexity of their experiences within the context of their intersectional experiences.

The media have the potential to reflect the voices of these communities to the general public but also get the attention of donors and humanitarian agencies to increase their efforts to support women-led organizations.

Even as donors and humanitarian agencies are expected to be pragmatic in their program planning and implementation approach, Dahlquist said it is essential to remember the humanity of the people who need this aid.

The media could play a key role in showcasing that human element, especially among those groups that receive less coverage in the news, such as ethnic minorities and the LGBQTIA+ community.

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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Most Maternal Deaths Are Preventable: How To Improve Outcomes in South Africa

Maternal Deaths - The risk of a woman dying from pregnancy-related complications was one in 5,400 in high-income countries, compared to one in 45 in low-income countries.

The risk of a woman dying from pregnancy-related complications is one in 5,400 in high-income countries, compared to one in 45 in low-income countries.. Credit: Travis Lupick/IPS

By External Source
May 11 2022 – The past 20 years have seen a significant decline in maternal mortality rates from 342 deaths to 211 per 100,000 globally . But every day, more than 800 women around the world die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, up to 42 days after delivery. Most of these deaths are preventable.

For every maternal death, another 20 women suffer serious injuries, infections and disabilities related to pregnancy. Professors Salome Maswime and Lawrence Chauke explain the state of maternal health in South Africa and how it can be improved.

 

How South Africa compares to other countries

In low-income countries the maternal mortality rate in 2017 was 462/100,000 compared to 11/100,000 in high-income countries. In Western Europe rates are as low as five deaths per 100,000 births. Sub-Saharan Africa has 533 deaths per 100,000 births.

The risk of a woman dying from pregnancy-related complications was one in 5,400 in high-income countries, compared to one in 45 in low-income countries. In West and Central Africa the maternal mortality rate is 674 per 100,000. In South Sudan it is 1,150 and 1,140 in Chad

The risk of a woman dying from pregnancy-related complications was one in 5,400 in high-income countries, compared to one in 45 in low-income countries.

In West and Central Africa the maternal mortality rate is 674 per 100,000. In South Sudan it is 1,150 and 1,140 in Chad.

South Africa has one of the lowest rates in Africa (113/100,000) but far higher than the UK (7/100,000). The rate in South Africa has declined from 150 deaths per 100,000 births in 1998 to 113 per 100,000 in 2019, according to the South African Demographic and Health Survey and the National Confidential Enquiries for Maternal Deaths.

 

Drivers of maternal mortality in South Africa

The three leading causes of maternal deaths in South Africa are HIV-related infections, obstetric haemorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.

Pre-existing medical conditions also account for a high proportion of pregnancy related complications in South Africa. Most deaths are still deemed as preventable.

A significant number of South African women attend at least four antenatal clinics (76%) and deliver in healthcare facilities (96%) under the care of a skilled birth attendant (97%). Ideally these figures should translate into a much lower maternal mortality rate. This means that there are still gaps and more work still needs to be done.

The biggest challenge is still late booking. Only 47% of women booked during the first trimester in 2016. Between 2017-2019, 72% of the women who died had attended antenatal care. But only half had booked before 20 weeks.

Delays in seeking antenatal care have been associated with a higher likelihood of having adverse pregnancy outcomes.

A very high percentage (90%) of South Africans live within 7km of a health facility and 67% live within 2km of a healthcare facility. Despite this proximity women struggle to get timely transport to healthcare facilities. The situation is even worse for rural women due to poor road infrastructure and poor emergency referral systems.

Healthcare facilities offer different levels of care. Most deaths occur in district hospitals in South Africa, where specialist, critical care or efficient emergency medical services may not be readily available. Patients with complications don’t reach higher levels of care in good time.

Even when they have access to higher levels of care women face possible shortage of specialist, medical and nursing personnel in addition to overcrowding.

A report done covering 2017 to 2019 found that 80% of women who died, received substandard care at district hospitals. The figure was 60% for community healthcare centres and regional hospitals. Poor quality of care is therefore a major problem within the country’s healthcare system. The same report identified overcrowding, lack of resources, including shortage of nursing and medical personnel among the key drivers for the poor quality care.

Disrespectful maternal care is an issue too. The abuse in South African maternity services was described as “one of the world’s greatest disgraces” in 2015. It included verbal and physical abuse, non-consensual care, non-confidential care, neglect and abandonment. In some facilities women said they expect to be shouted at, beaten and neglected.

Maternal mortality is an indicator of access to care and quality of care. It is also indirectly linked to socioeconomic factors. Women who have access to education, proper housing and job opportunities are more likely to have good health outcomes compared to those who are not.

Socio-demographic variables such as “race” have also been linked to how women are treated.

The attitudes of the healthcare workers towards patients has an impact on women’s health-seeking behaviour and delivery of care by the healthcare workers (to the extent of delaying and withholding care).

 

What can be done to improve outcomes?

The first step is to meet the need for contraception to avoid unwanted and unplanned pregnancies. In 2012, 215 million women globally were estimated to have an unmet need for contraception.

Health education and promotion at community level would encourage women to attend antenatal clinics and give birth in a health facility in the care of a skilled attendant.

Maternal care should be respectful and dignified.

Efficient transport and emergency medical services are needed so that women receive timely and appropriate care.

Stronger health systems would improve access to high quality obstetric care. Women survive complications of pregnancy and childbirth in functional health systems, with efficient referral systems. There is an urgent need for a responsive healthcare system that takes into consideration population and disease trends.

There is also an urgent need to address the imbalance between demand and supply of healthcare services; improve the social and economic status of women in society as well as the quality of maternal and reproductive healthcare services, to win the battle against maternal deaths.The Conversation

Salome Maswime, Professor of Global Surgery, University of Cape Town and Lawrence Chauke, Adjunct Professor, University of the Witwatersrand

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Sphera Tackles Scope 3 Emissions Reporting with Launch of its Automated Life Cycle Assessment Solution

CHICAGO, May 11, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sphera , a leading global provider of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and risk management software, data and consulting services, today announced the launch of its new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Automation software, building upon the company's existing LCA solutions. The move comes as investor and regulatory pressures surrounding the standardization and digitalization of end–to–end sustainability data measurement continue to mount, necessitating increasingly sophisticated and granular reporting and compliance tools.

Sphera's next–generation solution integrates seamlessly with customers' existing systems for rapid deployment, allowing customers to quickly receive holistic, real–time analysis and insights into the environmental footprint of their product portfolios. It also features extensive managed content that enables customers to instantaneously calculate their carbon footprint at scale and model how adjustments to specific variables""such as leveraging a cleaner power source or altering production processes""may affect emissions outputs.

The LCA Automation solution serves as an extension of Sphera's existing Product Sustainability capabilities which include life cycle assessment software and content. The service allows a company to increase the number of LCAs by a factor of 1,000, in turn enabling the experienced LCA professional to focus on analyzing and improving results, versus creating them.

The overarching goal of Sphera's LCA Automation tool is to help businesses""especially those in sectors with complex supply chains, such as manufacturing, consumer goods, paints and chemicals""to more effectively reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at every step of production, from design to disassembly. Improved forecasting will facilitate holistic corporate decisions with sustainability incorporated at each stage, allowing teams to proactively predict and control environmental impact.

Paul Marushka, Sphera's CEO and president, says: "Historically, LCAs have been viewed as voluntary, ad–hoc add–ons to broader corporate sustainability efforts. However, with consumer awareness growing in–step with regulatory mandates to mitigate the effects of climate change, LCA Automation feeds into the highest needs of decarbonization. As recent moves from the EU, SEC and the latest IPCC report have shown, financial and reputational fallout from a failure to act are very much a "when', not an "if'."

Continues Marushka, "From helping engineers create more sustainable products to enabling procurement professionals to establish lower carbon emission supply chains, LCA Automation will transform decision–making, for the benefit of both businesses and our planet."

About Sphera
Sphera is the leading provider of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance and risk management software, data and consulting services focusing on Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S), Operational Risk Management and Product Stewardship. For more than 30 years, we have served over 3,000 customers and a million–plus users in 80 countries to help companies keep their people safe, their products sustainable and their operations productive. Learn more about Sphera at www.sphera.com. Follow Sphera on LinkedIn.

Contact Information:
Astrid Dickinson
sphera@aspectusgroup.com


Sri Lanka: Debt Crisis, Neocolonialism and Geopolitical Rivalry

World Bank, Washington DC.
The multilateral Asian Development Bank and the World Bank owns 13% and 9% of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, respectively.

By Asoka Bandarage
WASHINGTON DC, May 11 2022 – Sri Lanka is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis. Faced with a shortage of foreign exchange and defaulting on its foreign debt repayment, the country is unable to pay for its food, fuel, medicine, and other basic necessities. Notwithstanding the austerities that would be entailed, a bail out by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been accepted as the only way out of the dire economic situation.

Opposition political parties and citizens across the country blame the Rajapaksa government’s widespread corruption and mismanagement for the crisis, and demand that the President and the Parliament resign.

The Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa did so on May 9th, 2022. However, the protesters at Galle Face Green and elsewhere have not been able to put forward an alternative leadership or a viable road map for the future. The country remains mired in confusion, chaos and a highly volatile political impasse.

To understand the complexity of the current crisis, and to prevent us falling back into the same paralyzing debt-cycle, it is necessary to move beyond domestic politics and the relentless news cycles of corporate media and explore some of the commonly overlooked yet basic global economic and geopolitical dimensions.

Debt Crises and Global Inequality

The transfer of financial and resource wealth from poor countries in the global South to the rich countries in the North is not a new phenomenon. It has been an enduring feature throughout centuries of both classical and neo-colonialism.

At the start of 1989, developing nations owed foreign creditors $1.3 trillion US dollars. That is, “just over half their combined gross national products and two thirds more than their export earnings.”

Recently, the effects of the war in the Ukraine and the Covid-19 crisis have worsened the high debt burdens of developing countries. These countries were already struggling to pay accumulated debts stemming from the expansion of capital flows from the high-income countries to lower income countries after the 2008 global financial crisis. Financial liberalization was fostered by powerful global interests, including the IMF, when interest rates dropped in the richer countries.

This facilitated borrowing by developing countries from private international capital markets through International Sovergein Bonds (ISBs), which come with high interest rates and short maturation periods.

Financial liberalization facilitated by the IMF and the developed countries working with the domestic elites of poor countries has created a “hierarchical and asymmetrical international financial architecture.”

As a December 2021 Report published by the Bretton Woods Project points out, this unequal framework creates “macroeconomic imbalances, financial fragilities, and exchange rate instability that can trigger debt and/or currency crises and curb the economic policy autonomy of affected countries to pursue domestic goals.”

The international NGO Debt Jubilee Campaign (soon to be called Debt Justice) has pointed out that 54 countries are now experiencing a debt crisis. According to the World Bank, Sri Lanka owes $15 billion in bonds, mostly dollar-denominated, out of a total of $45 to 50 billion in long-term debt.

The country needs $7 to 8.6 billion to service its debt load in 2022, whereas it had just $1.6 billion in reserves at the end of March 2022. The downgrading of Sri Lanka by rating agencies such as Moody’s added to the difficulty of further borrowing to pay off the debt.

The devaluation of the Sri Lankan rupee by 32% since the beginning of the year has made it the ‘world’s worst performing currency,’ exacerbating the plight of the Sri Lankan people.

The multilateral Asian Development Bank and the World Bank owns 13% and 9% of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt, respectively. Currently, China is Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral lender, owning about 10% of its total foreign debt, followed by Japan which also owns 10%.

Approximately half of Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt (55% according to some estimates) is market borrowings through US- and EU-based ISBs. Asset managers BlackRock, Inc. and Ashmore Group Plc., along with Fidelity, T Rowe Price and TIAA are among Sri Lanka’s main ISB creditors. However, the information on the ownership of ISBs – including one worth $1 billion that is maturing on July 25, 2022 – is not publicly revealed.

Sri Lanka is in negotiations with the IMF to restructure and repay its massive debt. IMF structural adjustment will include the familiar privatization, cutbacks of social safety nets and alignment of local economic policy with U.S. and western interests, to the further detriment of local working people’s standard of living and inevitably leading to more wealth disparity and repeat debt crises.

Debt Crisis and Geopolitical Rivalry

Economic crises create opportunities for external powers to expand economic exploitation and geopolitical control. In Sri Lanka’s context, this means India, the US and China.

Sri Lanka’s big neighbor India has extended a $1 billion credit line to provide essential food and medicine. The Sri Lankan government has stated that there are no conditions attached to the Indian loans. However, Sri Lankan analysts believe that agreements have been made giving Indian companies exclusive access to investments on the island.

Sri Lanka is strategically located in the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Over 80% of the global seaborne oil trade is estimated to pass through the choke points of the Indian Ocean. Although bizarrely overlooked by the global media, a Cold War is already in place between China and the Quadrilateral Alliance (United States, Japan, Australia and India) over the control of Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka is part of China’s $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative, which includes the island’s Hambantota Port and Port City. The United States, on the other hand, signed an open-ended Acquisition and Cross Services Agreement (ACSA) with Sri Lanka on August 4, 2017, facilitating military logistic support.

The US is also seeking to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would effectively turn Sri Lanka into a US military base. While the proposed United States Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact has not been signed due to local protests, the pact’s objective – US control over the land, transportation and communication infrastructure in Sri Lanka – continues unabated.

In this context of Sri Lanka as a tense theater of geopolitical rivalry, the Sri Lankan debt crisis cannot be understood simply as an economic crisis. Could it, in fact, be a ‘staged default’ designed to push Sri Lanka into an IMF bailout which would complete the island’s subservience to the US dominated economic and political agenda?

Alternative Sustainable Approaches

The young ‘Gotta Go Home!’ protesters who demand President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation seem to be unaware of the global dynamics of the Sri Lankan crisis. Perhaps local and foreign interests guiding the protests may want to keep it that way.

They are certainly not encouraging the protestors to join global calls for much-needed debt cancellation, debt swaps and regulation of capital market borrowing to prevent debt crises occurring in the first place.

However, at least a few Sri Lankan professionals concerned about the implications of an IMF bailout have put forward alternative short and long-term solutions. They recognize that while exploitative colonial and neocolonial policies have turned Sri Lanka into a poor and desperate country, the island is rich with abundant natural resources and human capital.

If the land and ocean and the graphite, ilmenite and the other mineral resources are sustainably utilized, Sri Lanka can be economically self-sufficient and prosperous. There is also much to be learned from Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial history in this regard, not least its hydraulic civilization.

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) has revealed that there are enough fuel and natural gas deposits in the Mannar Basin to meet the entire country’s needs for 60 years. If the abundant sustainable solar and wind power are also utilized, Sri Lanka can become not only energy self-sufficient, but an exporter of energy as well.

Bioregionalism, economic democracy, and food and energy sovereignty are the only route to a sustainable future for Sri Lanka and other debt-trapped countries, and indeed the world at large. To overcome the dominant forces seeking to monopolize control over the natural environment and humanity, people – especially the young – need to awaken and work in partnership with each other to fight the destructive greed that ensnares and threatens to destroy us.

Asoka Bandarage is Distinguished (Adjunct) Professor at the California, Institute for Integral Studies. She is the author of Colonialism in Sri Lanka (Mouton), The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka (Routledge), Women, Population and Global Crisis (Zed), Sustainability and Well-Being (Palgrave McMilllan) and many other publications on global political-economy and South Asia.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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