Nyxoah Joins the Euronext Tech Leaders Initiative, Included in the Euronext Tech Leaders Index

Nyxoah Joins the Euronext Tech Leaders Initiative, Included in the Euronext Tech Leaders Index

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgium "" June 7, 2022 4:30pm ET / 10:30pm CET"" Nyxoah SA (Euronext Brussels/Nasdaq: NYXH)("Nyxoah" or the "Company"), a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is proud to announce that it is part of the newly–formed Euronext Tech Leaders initiative, which is composed of 100+ innovative and high–growth technology companies with greater than 1 trillion Euros in aggregate market capitalization.

Companies participating in the Euronext Tech Leaders initiative will be included in the Euronext Tech Leaders Index and benefit from a suite of exclusive programs, such as dedicated Euronext programs targeting improved trading conditions for retail investors, greater international visibility through marketing and communication initiatives, and access to the C–level club offering exclusive networking events.

"We are proud that our patient–first mission has led to Nyxoah being one of 100 Tech companies to be recognized for innovation and growth through inclusion in the Euronext Tech Leaders initiative and index," commented Olivier Taelman, Nyxoah's Chief Executive Officer.

About Nyxoah
Nyxoah is a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Nyxoah's lead solution is the Genio system, a patient–centered, leadless and battery–free hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy for OSA, the world's most common sleep disordered breathing condition that is associated with increased mortality risk and cardiovascular comorbidities. Nyxoah is driven by the vision that OSA patients should enjoy restful nights and feel enabled to live their life to its fullest.

Following the successful completion of the BLAST OSA study, the Genio system received its European CE Mark in 2019. Nyxoah completed two successful IPOs: on Euronext Brussels in September 2020 and NASDAQ in July 2021. Following the positive outcomes of the BETTER SLEEP study, Nyxoah received CE mark approval for the expansion of its therapeutic indications to Complete Concentric Collapse (CCC) patients, currently contraindicated in competitors' therapy. Additionally, the Company is currently conducting the DREAM IDE pivotal study for FDA and US commercialization approval.

For more information, please visit http://www.nyxoah.com/.

Caution "" CE marked since 2019. Investigational device in the United States. Limited by U.S. federal law to investigational use in the United States.

Contacts:
Nyxoah
Loic Moreau, Chief Financial Officer
corporate@nyxoah.com
+32 473 33 19 80

Jeremy Feffer, VP IR and Corporate Communications
jeremy.feffer@nyxoah.com
+1 917 749 1494

CONTACTS MEDIA "" mediateam@euronext.com

Aurlie Cohen (Europe)
+33 1 70 48 24 45
parispressoffice@euronext.com

Marianne Aalders (Amsterdam)
+31 20 721 41 33
maalders@euronext.com

Pascal Brabant (Brussels)
+32 2 620 15 50
pbrabant@euronext.com

Sandra Machado (Lisbon)
+351 917 776 897
smachado@euronext.com

Andrea Monzani (Europe/Milan/Rome)
+39 02 72 42 62 13
amonzani@euronext.com

Cathrine Lorvik Segerlund (Oslo)
+47 41 69 59 10
clsegerlund@euronext.com

Sarah Mound (Paris)
+33 1 70 48 24 45
smound@euronext.com

About Euronext

Euronext is the leading pan–European market infrastructure, connecting European economies to global capital markets, to accelerate innovation and sustainable growth. It operates regulated exchanges in Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. With close to 2,000 listed issuers and around 6.6 trillion in market capitalisation as of end March 2022, it has an unmatched blue–chip franchise and a strong diverse domestic and international client base. Euronext operates regulated and transparent equity and derivatives markets, one of Europe's leading electronic fixed income trading markets and is the largest centre for debt and funds listings in the world. Its total product offering includes Equities, FX, Exchange Traded Funds, Warrants & Certificates, Bonds, Derivatives, Commodities and Indices. The Group provides a multi–asset clearing house through Euronext Clearing, and custody and settlement services through Euronext Securities central securities depositories in Denmark, Italy, Norway and Portugal. Euronext also leverages its expertise in running markets by providing technology and managed services to third parties. In addition to its main regulated market, it also operates a number of junior markets, simplifying access to listing for SMEs. For the latest news, go to euronext.com or follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/euronext) and LinkedIn (linkedin.com/euronext).

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WHR Group, Inc. Becomes WHR Global

MILWAUKEE, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WHR Group, Inc. (WHR), a leader in the global employee relocation industry, announced today that the company will begin operating under a new name and will be known as WHR Global (WHR). This name change reflects how WHR has grown from being a US relocation management company to a global mobility brand, with offices also in Singapore and Switzerland. WHR's global expansion was critical to serve its clients' ever–growing needs for worldwide global relocation services.

The Switzerland office supports clients and their transferees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, while the Singapore office supports the Asia–Pacific region. These international offices provide a range of services including pre–assignment, transition, on assignment and repatriation services to multi–language expatriate transferees. Overseas staff bring a variety of foreign languages including French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Malayalam, Lithuanian, Russian, Bahasa, Malay and Mandarin. Along with its U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis., WHR helps some of the largest global organizations and has relocated hundreds of thousands of employees to over 120 countries worldwide. WHR specializes in providing each expatriate with a dedicated relocation team, white glove service and 24/7 availability for their entire relocation journey.

WHR CEO Roger Thrun believes it's a client obsession that has helped WHR become so successful. "We always make sure the client and their transferees come first. We believe that working in our clients' best interests pays big benefits," says Thrun. "Our number one objective is to provide the very best service that our clients and their employees will ever receive. Our niche is to make employees happier and more productive through a really stressful time in their lives by providing superior relocation services."

This name rebranding does not change WHR's ownership since its founding in 1994. As an independent organization, WHR does not have affiliations or partnerships with other organizations which allows WHR to act as a fiduciary to its clients. This ensures only the highest quality supply chain partners are utilized.

About WHR Global
WHR Global (WHR) is a private, client–driven global relocation management company distinguished by its best–in–class service delivery and cutting–edge, proprietary technology. WHR has offices in Milwaukee, Wis., Switzerland, and Singapore. With its 100% client retention rate for the past decade, WHR continues to position itself as the trusted leader in global employee relocation. WHR lives by its vision and passion for Advancing Lives Forward and Making the Complex Simple. To learn more about WHR, visit http://www.whrg.com, or follow on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contact: Mindy Stroiman, Corporate Writer
Mindy.Stroiman@whrg.com
262.523.7510


Cities in Brazil Reap Floods after Hiding Their Rivers Underground

The confluence of the waters with the distinct colors of the pollution of each one: darker waters reflect the urban sewage of the Arrudas River, while brown reflects erosion coming from the upper Velhas River, a natural effect or product of mining visible in the city of Belo Horizonte, in southern Brazil. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

The confluence of the waters with the distinct colors of the pollution of each one: darker waters reflect the urban sewage of the Arrudas River, while brown reflects erosion coming from the upper Velhas River, a natural effect or product of mining visible in the city of Belo Horizonte, in southern Brazil. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

By Mario Osava
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 7 2022 – Acaba Mundo has fallen into oblivion, despite its apocalyptic name – which roughly translates as World’s End – and historical importance as an urban waterway. It is a typical victim of Brazil’s metropolises, which were turned into cemeteries of streams, with their flooded neighborhoods and filthy rivers.

The Acaba Mundo stream disappeared under the asphalt and concrete of Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais in southeast Brazil. It was the main source of water for the first inhabitants of the city founded in 1897 and the first watercourse in the city to be culverted and hidden underground.

Interventions on the riverbed began a century ago, with modifications to adjust it to the geometric layout of the streets and canalizations, and ended with it being completely covered over, except for its headwaters, in the 1970s, geographer Alessandro Borsagli, a professor and researcher who specializes in water issues, told IPS.

It became invisible, like practically all the streams that flow into the Arrudas River, the axis of the main watershed of the planned city of Belo Horizonte, whose limits were exceeded decades ago by urban sprawl and which now has 2.5 million inhabitants.

The water is still dirty when it is returned to the Onça River after passing through the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the city of Belo Horizonte, in southern Brazil. Much remains to be decontaminated, as well as the Velhas River that it flows into. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

The water is still dirty when it is returned to the Onça River after passing through the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the city of Belo Horizonte, in southern Brazil. Much remains to be decontaminated, as well as the Velhas River that it flows into. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

Forgotten

The existence of the Acaba Mundo stream has also been erased from people’s memories. But its waters still run in clogged culverts under streets and avenues, including the city’s main avenue, Afonso Pena.

The city government does not even mention it in the presentation of the America Rene Giannetti Municipal Park, a large popular space for tourism and nature conservation in the center of the city, which was originally crossed by the stream before it was diverted by canals to another sub-basin.

Only elderly residents such as Carmela Pezzuti, who lived in Belo Horizonte for a few months in 1939, when she was six years old, still remember – as she told IPS – that the park then took its name from Acaba Mundo, when the stream still existed aboveground.

Today, the so-called Dry Bridge is still there, under which the now hidden and forgotten stream used to flow.

“This reflects the history of Belo Horizonte, of increasing interventions in the watercourses and ‘hydrophobia’ in response to the stench from the streams, which were used as sewage outfalls and turned into sources of diseases,” in addition to the increasingly frequent floods, said Borsagli.

Apolo Heringer, a physician and environmentalist who has raised awareness and mobilized local residents in defense of the Velhas River and its watershed with the Manuelzão Project, a university project named after an important literary figure in the culture of the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

Apolo Heringer, a physician and environmentalist who has raised awareness and mobilized local residents in defense of the Velhas River and its watershed with the Manuelzão Project, a university project named after an important literary figure in the culture of the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

Business vs streams

Covering up the streams and expanding the underground channels became a demand of society in general, in addition to responding to the interests of real estate businesses that have treated the watercourses as obstacles to the construction of new housing, he said.

The transportation sector, from the automotive industry to bus companies, also pushed for the conversion of riverbeds and their banks into avenues, as has been done since automobiles took over the cities.

“The urban mobility model adopted is incompatible with watercourses,” urban architect Elisa Marques, a researcher and activist on water issues, told IPS. “Avenues are built on the valley bottoms, the riverbeds are blocked and the soil becomes more impermeable. Improving public transport would reduce the space for cars and return it to the waters.”

A residential neighborhood in northern Belo Horizonte, with its distinctive dips and rises that accelerate torrents caused by rainfall, which flood the valleys. The steeper slopes of the Curral mountain range, in the south of this southern Brazilian city, aggravate water disasters. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

A residential neighborhood in northern Belo Horizonte, with its distinctive dips and rises that accelerate torrents caused by rainfall, which flood the valleys. The steeper slopes of the Curral mountain range, in the south of this southern Brazilian city, aggravate water disasters. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

Floods

The increasing impermeabilization of the soil, due to urban expansion and suppression of vegetation, makes the channels, no matter how much they are enlarged, unable to absorb the increased flow of torrents in the rainiest periods, usually in December and January, said Borsagli.

The topography of Belo Horizonte favors the existence of hundreds of fast-flowing streams and minor watercourses, due to the steep slopes.

The Curral mountain range, where the main tributaries of the Arrudas River rise, which cross the most urbanized part of the city, exceeds 1,400 meters above sea level, while the Arrudas is about 800 meters above sea level.

“It is not known for sure why the Acaba Mundo stream is so named, whether it is because its source is far from the center of the city like the end of the world or because of the destructive force of its torrent,” explained the geographer, author of the book “Invisible Rivers of the Mining Metropolis”.

Flooding worsened as the city grew, especially from the 1940s onwards, and interventions that replaced the streambeds with channels aggravated the problem, according to Borsagli. He explained that channelizing a stream almost always increases the flow that floods the watershed below.

Currently, the most severe flooding continues to be seen along some parts of the Arrudas River, but it has become more frequent in Belo Horizonte’s other basin, that of the Onça River (the Portuguese name for jaguar), in the northern part of the city, whose population has grown more recently and is poorer.

In general, Brazilian cities lack efficient drainage systems. The governmental National Sanitation Information System found that in 2020 only 45.3 percent of the 4107 municipalities that participated in its assessment – out of a national total of 5570 – have exclusive rainwater drainage systems. In the rest the rainwater is mixed with wastewater.

This shortfall exacerbates the recurrent water tragedies. São Paulo also suffers annual flooding in several neighborhoods. And on the outskirts of Recife, in the Northeast, torrential rains in the last days of May left at least 127 dead and 9,000 people affected.

The primacy of automobiles over public transport put pressure on the banks of urban rivers because of streets that invade the space of the water and make the soil impermeable with asphalt, aggravating the floods that recur every year in Brazil’s major cities, according to urban architect Elisa Marques. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

The primacy of automobiles over public transport put pressure on the banks of urban rivers because of streets that invade the space of the water and make the soil impermeable with asphalt, aggravating the floods that recur every year in Brazil’s major cities, according to urban architect Elisa Marques. CREDIT: Mario Osava/IPS

Pollution

In addition to the failure of stormwater drainage, there is also the pollution of water resources. For decades Belo Horizonte used the streams as sewage channels, with little treatment of the drainage, spreading filth and disease.

The situation in Belo Horizonte improved with the construction of the Arrudas River Wastewater Treatment Plant (ETE) in 2001 and the Onça Wastewater Treatment Plant in 2006, but it is still insufficient, said Apolo Heringer, a physician, environmentalist and retired professor from the Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Heringer, who was a political exile during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship, founded the Manuelzão Project at the university in 1997, with the aim of cleaning up and revitalizing the Velhas River, the source of half the water consumed in the areas on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte and the recipient of the rivers that cross the capital, the Arrudas and the Onça.

The ETEs respond in part to the strategy advocated by the environmentalist and his project of concentrating efforts where they are most productive.

“Along 30 to 40 kilometers of the Velhas River and the final stretches of the Arrudas and Onça rivers, 80 percent of the pollution produced by 80 percent of the population of the outlying neighborhoods is concentrated, both from sewage and garbage. It is the epicenter of pollution,” Heringer told IPS.

Focusing efforts in this area, which makes up only 20 percent of the city, would practically result in the decontamination of the Velhas River basin, which extends for 800 kilometers and flows into the São Francisco, one of the largest national rivers that crosses a large part of the semiarid Northeast region.

But the goal of being able to swim, fish and boat in the Velhas River requires 100 percent wastewater treatment, and the collection and proper management of all garbage so that the liquid runoff does not go into the rivers. This means it is still a distant dream, the expert acknowledged.

The treatment of sewage by the Minas Gerais Sanitation Company (Copasa) is still incomplete; the water that is returned to the rivers still contains impurities, the environmentalist lamented.

ETE Arrudas removes the main pollutants and complies with national legislation, as shown by laboratory tests. “It is possible to visually verify the difference in quality of the treated sewage in relation to the raw sewage,” Copasa replied to questions from IPS on the matter.

However, in the Onça River ETE, the water returned to the river does not appear to be clean.

Meaningful Dialogue Amplifies Youth Issues, Leads to Change

Delegates at the 'Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement' discussed how meaningful dialogue amplify young people’s issues and lead to laws and policies which benefit them. Credit: APDA

Delegates at the ‘Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement’ discussed how meaningful dialogue amplify young people’s issues and lead to laws and policies which benefit them. Credit: APDA

By Cecilia Russell
Johannesburg, Jun 7 2022 – Young people are often the first to rebuild their communities. However, youths’ diverse challenges cannot be addressed without meaningful dialogue, says Klaus Beck, Regional Director of UNFPA ASRO ai.

He was speaking during the hybrid conference ‘Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement’ on June 2 and 3, 2022.

Beck noted young people were severely affected during the COVID-19 pandemic because many were forced out of jobs due to the economic recession. Many other young boys and girls had missed school – some dropping out altogether. There was an impact on anxiety and depression and increased suicide. With almost a billion young people aged 10 to 24 years living in the mid to low and middle-income countries in Asia and accounting for 60% of the world’s population – this is a very powerful group that needs to be taken seriously.

“We know that young people are among the first to step up to help their communities rebuild. During the COVID 19 pandemic, young people were mobilized to respond to the crisis by working as health workers, advocates, volunteers, scientists, social entrepreneurs, and innovators,” Beck said. “We cannot address the diverse challenges in needs and support their leadership without partnering with them. It is, for this reason, that the engagement of young people in policy and programs is crucial.”

Meaningful youth engagement should include the poorest and the most marginalized. Beck said policymakers must have a systematic method for conducting open and inclusive dialogue. Many youth participants at the conference elaborated on this theme.

Ayano Kunimitsu, an MP from Japan, said youth made impressive contributions on the frontlines and through initiatives during the pandemic, even though they often faced structural barriers due to cultural norms and the digital divide.

Parliamentarians should ensure “opportunities are given to young people to exercise their potential and that youth voices are reflected into national policies and strategies,” she said.

Young people were often the first to respond during a crisis, yet were often marginalized, an 'Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement' co-hosted APDA, and Y-PEER heard. Credit: APDA

Young people were often the first to respond during a crisis, yet were often marginalized, an ‘Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement’ co-hosted APDA and Y-PEER heard. Credit: APDA

Dr Jetn Sirathranont, MP from Thailand, represented the host country. While there were negative impacts due to the pandemic, Thailand changed its Criminal Code in February 2021 and passed a law that allowed women to unconditionally terminate their 1st term pregnancies.
Abortion is allowed under certain circumstances up to 20 weeks, he said.

He said though intergenerational discussions, youth were involved in developing youth policy and legislation alongside Parliamentarians.

Virasak Kohsurat, MP for Thailand and the former Minister of Social Development and Human Security, said the country’s constitution required that one-third of all members in a committee looking at draft bills be drawn from NGOs working for and with that group of the population. Likewise, with Senate committees, he said.

He suggested a combination of “deep listening” and being patient, polite, and open was an essential strategy for success in meaningful youth engagement.

When the subject matter could get emotive and controversial, for example, global warming and education, this strategy would keep the conversation on track.

During a discussion of the best way for young people to engage with parliamentarians, one delegate suggested that UN agencies could contribute to ensuring all, including marginalized rural communities, was included. The dialogue was crucial and should not leave anybody behind.

Rebecca Tobena, a youth delegate from Papua New Guinea, agreed, especially in a country like hers with a clear hierarchy and where women and youth are on the bottom rung.

Irene Saulog, a member of the House of Representatives in the Philippines, said the UN estimated that 30 percent of the world’s students, both at schools and universities, amounting to 1.5 billion people in 188 countries, were excluded from face-to-face learning during the pandemic.

This closure of school affected the youths’ well-being.

“The young generation experienced significant psychological impacts of social distancing and quarantine measures,” Saulog said.

The young generation experienced significant psychological impacts of social distancing and quarantine measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet their contribution and creativity was praised during an 'Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement' held virtually and in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: APDA

The young generation experienced significant psychological impacts of social distancing and quarantine measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, yet their contribution and creativity was praised during an ‘Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement’ held virtually and in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: APDA

The lack of face-to-face learning exacerbated inequality because students from marginalized sectors were less likely to have access to online education.

She quoted the International Labour Organization and the Asian Development Bank report, which estimated that an estimated 220 million employed young people ages 15 to 24 years old only have temporary jobs in the Asia Pacific.

“This results in them depending on taking informal jobs to earn a living, risking their health.”

Saulog noted that in the Philippines, 28 percent of the population of 30 million Filipino citizens were between 10 to 24 years old.

“With the right policies and investments, our country is poised to reap the benefits of a large number of youths … it was worth passing legislation that benefitted the youth.”

Youth made and are making major contributions, Saulog said. She wanted the audience to know that “we are delightfully surprised by your creativity”, especially in the digital age where the solutions created were “beyond our imaginations”.

Nepalese youth representative Safalta Maharjan noted that while youth were considered the country’s “future,” they were not prioritized.

Maharjan said youth should have the right to participate in the decision-making of a family, community, and public institutions on matters that concern them. The participation of youth in decision making was notably lacking in the rural areas

“Many youths in rural areas are uneducated, and this needs to be prioritized,” she said.

Thai Children and Youth Council members Dusadee Thirathanakul and Issara
Paanthong gave a joint presentation in which they said the National Child and Youth Development Promotion Act underpinned youth policy in Thailand, and during COVID-19 young people were involved in ensuring that students’ futures were not jeopardized. Youth also shared campaigns via social media and ran a civil rights campaign.

Rajasurang Wongkrasaemongkol shared details of a youth-led campaign, including AI, to improve the use of wearing masks and correctly. The project received high praise from participants – and reinforced the message of the effectiveness of youth-led projects.

 

The Intergenerational Dialogue of the Asian Parliamentarians and Youth Advocates on Meaningful Youth Engagement, held in Bangkok, Thailand, and virtually, was co-hosted by APDA, and Y-PEER. UNFPA supported the dialogue.
IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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TrueCommerce Appoints Randy Curran as CEO to Lead Company Through Next Phase of Growth

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TrueCommerce, a global provider of trading partner connectivity, integration, and unified commerce solutions, announced today that Randy Curran has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective June 1, 2022.

"We're incredibly proud of the growth TrueCommerce has experienced," said Ryan Harper, General Partner for Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS) and member of the TrueCommerce Board of Directors. "We're confident TrueCommerce will accelerate this upward trajectory under Randy's guidance. He is a proven leader with an extensive background in leading companies into their next stages of growth and operational excellence."

TrueCommerce's growth is attributed to several factors. With its acquisition of DiCentral, the company doubled its headcount, increased its customer base by 40%, and expanded its presence across the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. It also invested in its global platform and product development, experiencing a 24% increase in total connections to its global network year over year and a 25% increase in overall data volume on the TrueCommerce Commerce Network compared to 2020.

Mr. Curran is a long–time technology leader with decades of experience transforming and propelling high–growth, international companies to success. He most recently served as an Operating Partner for WCAS, a leading U.S. private equity firm and majority stakeholder of TrueCommerce. Prior to Welsh Carson, Mr. Curran served as CEO for OHL, Inc. (later purchased by GEODIS), the fourth–largest third–party logistics warehouse (3PL) in the U.S., where he created alignment among the management team and led the enhancement of information systems that serviced customers and employees. Mr. Curran also held CEO roles at ITC^Deltacom, Inc. (now Deltacom), ICG Communications, and Thermadyne Holdings, Inc. He graduated from DePauw University with a B.A. in Economics and has an MBA from Loyola University.

"TrueCommerce is at the forefront of the supply chain technology market, and in a global economy that necessitates reliable, seamless supply chain solutions, the growth opportunities for the company are tremendous," said Mr. Curran. "I'm honored to join this talented team to drive home the alignment of customer success, implementation, support, and making TrueCommerce a destination employer."

About Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
WCAS is a leading U.S. private equity firm focused on two target industries: healthcare and technology. Since its founding in 1979, the firm's strategy has been to partner with outstanding management teams and build value for its investors through a combination of operational improvements, growth initiatives, and strategic acquisitions. The firm has raised and managed funds totaling over $27 billion of committed capital. For more information, please visit www.wcas.com.

About TrueCommerce
TrueCommerce is the most complete way to connect your business across the supply chain, integrating everything from EDI, to inventory management, to fulfillment, to digital storefronts and marketplaces. We've revolutionized supply chain visibility and collaboration by helping organizations make the most of their omnichannel initiatives via business P2P connectivity, order management, collaborative replenishment, intelligent fulfillment, cross–functional analytics, and product information management.

The TrueCommerce Global Commerce Network can connect businesses to over 160,000 retailers, distributors, and logistics service providers. As a fully managed services provider, we also manage new trading partner onboarding, as well as the ongoing management of partner–specific mapping, labeling changes, and communications monitoring. That's why thousands of companies""ranging from startups to the global Fortune 100, across various industries""rely on us.

TrueCommerce: Do business in every direction
For more information, visit https://www.truecommerce.com.

Media Contact
Yegor Kuznetsov
Director, Marketing Communications
1–703–209–0167
yegor.kuznetsov@truecommerce.com


Tizeti names Emmanuel Ikazoboh as new Chairman, appoints new board members

LAGOS, Nigeria, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tizeti Network Limited, West Africa's pioneer solar–based internet service provider has today, announced the appointment of Emmanuel Ikazoboh as its Board Chairman.

Emmanuel Ikazoboh is the immediate past Group Chairman of Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), Chairman of ARM Pensions Managers Limited (Pensions Fund Administrators), and is the International Vice Chairman at International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada. He is an independent/Non–Executive Director for Nampak Packaging Limited South Africa and Dangote Cement Plc.

He was appointed Administrator of The Nigerian Stock Exchange and helped transform the Nigerian Stock Exchange as well as the Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS), and was responsible for restructuring the management, equities market, stock brokerage processes, and corporate governance structure of both entities to create an enviable Stock Exchange in Africa.

"Tizeti's growing market share in the unlimited internet market in Nigeria provides huge opportunities to tackle digital exclusion for millions in the region. The company's impact over the last nine years and ongoing transformation reveal the opportunities ahead, especially in a digital economy. Tizeti has a deserved reputation for its innovative products and disruptive approach, and I look forward to serving as its Board Chairman", said Ikazoboh.

Emmanuel Ikazoboh has held previous roles as the Chairman/CEO of Deloitte West & Central Africa; Managing Partner for Deloitte Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), and Client Service Director for Deloitte Africa. He also served as Partner of Deloitte & Touche in Dartford UK and brings an international perspective to Tizeti's business. He is a Member of the Presidential Committee for the restructuring of the Nigerian Government Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions and the reduction of the cost of governance.

He holds an MBA in Financial Management from Manchester University Business School, is certified as a UK Certified Accountant, and holds Fellowships at the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants and the Nigeria Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The other new members of the Tizeti board include Engr. Okechukwu Obiagwu and Patricia Aiyedun. Okechukwu Obiagwu is an Electrical/Electronic Engineer with significant experience in the oil and gas industry. He previously worked at Halliburton Energy Service for 19 years and rose to Senior Leadership as the Country Manager for the Wireline and Perforating division, before he explored his interests in alternative/clean energy, oil and gas services, and eCommerce. He is a graduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering from the University of Port Harcourt.

Patricia Aiyedun is the Chief Financial Officer at inq. Digital (previously Vodacom Business Africa) and has 16 years of broad experience in professional service. Her experience covers due diligence on M&A transactions, financial reporting, auditing, and advisory. She previously worked as a Senior Manager at the Big 4 firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and started her career at Diamond Bank. She obtained her first degree from the University of Ibadan, is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of Nigeria (ACCA), and has acquired numerous certifications.

"Tizeti continues to grow at a fast pace and expanding our board will provide the guidance our leadership team needs to continue to grow the company to fulfill its mission of being Africa's top provider of Internet and Voice. It also helps to increase corporate governance & diversity, improve corporate decision making & strategy at our company, and position Tizeti firmly for the digital economy," said Kendall Ananyi, Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti.

About Tizeti
Tizeti is a fast–growing Wireless Internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria, delivering high–speed unlimited Wi–Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide–area Wi–Fi. Its services are available in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers States. It is also expanding rapidly to other African countries, with successful launches in Accra and Tema, Ghana.

Contact: Temitope Osunrinde (press@tizeti.com)


Education Cannot Wait Interviews UNICEF Executive Director Catherine M. Russell

On 24 February 2022 in Afghanistan, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell listens to a girl reading from a textbook at a UNICEF-supported community-based school in Kandahar’s Dand district. Credit: UNICEF/Omid Fazel

By External Source
Jun 7 2022 (IPS-Partners)

 

Catherine M. Russell became UNICEF’s eighth Executive Director on 1 February 2022.

Ms. Russell brings to the role decades of experience in developing innovative policy that empowers underserved communities around the world, including high-impact programmes that protect women and girls, including in humanitarian crises. She has extensive experience building, elevating and managing diverse workforces and mobilizing resources and political support for a broad range of initiatives.

From 2020 to 2022, Ms. Russell served in the US government as Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. She previously served from 2013 to 2017 as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State. In that post, she integrated women’s issues across all elements of U.S. foreign policy, represented the United States in more than 45 countries, and worked with foreign governments, multilateral organizations and civil society. She was the principal architect of the ground-breaking “U.S. Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls.”

Previously, Ms. Russell served as Deputy Assistant to the President at the White House under President Barack Obama, Senior Advisor on International Women’s Issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Before re-entering government service in 2020, she taught at the Harvard Kennedy School as an Institute of Politics Fellow. She also served as the board co-chair of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, as a board member of Women for Women International, as a member of the Sesame Street Advisory Board, as a member of the non-profit organization, KIVA Advisory Council, and as a member of the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women initiative.

Ms. Russell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, magna cum laude, from Boston College and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University Law School.

On 24 February 2022 in Afghanistan, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell talks to students at a UNICEF-supported community-based school in Kandahar’s Dand district. Credit: UNICEF/Omid Fazel

ECW: You have joined UNICEF as Executive Director at a critical time for education. Since Education Cannot Wait’s inception in 2016, UNICEF has not only been a host organization but also a trusted and strategic partner in our work. UNICEF is key to ensuring that children caught in armed conflicts, forced displacement, climate change-related disasters and protracted crises can access safe, inclusive learning environments. How can we reinforce our efforts to reach more children and adolescents at this critical moment?

Catherine M. Russell: Thank you for this opportunity. Since becoming Executive Director in February, I have seen how critically important education and learning are to all children – but especially those living in places that are affected by conflicts and other emergencies. Every child has an equal right to education, but not all children are able to realize this right equally.

I saw this on my recent visit to Afghanistan, where girls are denied a secondary education. These girls are not only missing out on their right to learn. They’re missing out on the hope and opportunity that education brings to them, their families, and their communities.

To reach every child in Afghanistan, UNICEF continues to work with many partners – especially including ECW, which has been supporting education programmes in Afghanistan since 2017, with a focus on girls’ and community-based education.

The war in Ukraine is having a dramatic impact on 5.7 million children – millions of whom have been displaced both inside and outside the country. Hundreds of schools have been attacked, and millions of children are out of school. These children are not only missing out on learning, they are also missing out on the social and emotional support face-to-face learning provides in such dark times.

When I was in Romania in the early days of the war, I saw how traumatized some of these children are and some of the challenges they are facing. But I also saw how eager they are to learn – and the hope that education holds for them. I am proud that UNICEF is supporting education for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian children – including by providing education-related supplies and early childhood development materials.

These are only a couple of examples to give a sense of the urgency. Globally, millions of children are still out of school – and millions more are not learning.

Before the pandemic, over half of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income countries were unable to read and understand a simple story. School closures and inequitable access to learning opportunities have already increased that number dramatically – and if we don’t act, it will only get worse.

UNICEF, the World Bank, and UNESCO are calling on governments to take “RAPID” action to reach every child and retain them in the classroom, to assess their learning levels, to prioritize teaching the building blocks of lifelong learning, to increase catch-up learning and help children progress, and to develop psychosocial support to promote wellbeing so every child is ready to learn.

To get every child learning, we need collective action that prioritizes the most marginalized children – including crisis-affected children. Increased, sustained investment in national education systems, including the education workforce, is the only way to prevent the global learning crisis from becoming a global learning catastrophe. If we fail to act, these children will pay the highest price. But our societies and economies will also feel the impact for decades to come.

On 4 April 2022 in Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell (left) visits Nizi Primary School in Goma. Many schools were destroyed in the Nyiaragongo volcano eruption in May 2021. Credit: UNICEF/Diana Zeyneb Alhindawi

ECW: Education in emergencies generally accounts for just 2-4% of international humanitarian aid and the share for education declined during the pandemic in official development assistance, and countries allocated only 3 per cent of their COVID-19 stimulus packages to education. How can ECW, public donors, the private sector, and UNICEF help address this challenge as we race together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG4?

Catherine M. Russell: Education is one of the most critical investments any government can make. The economic returns on investment alone should put education high on the priority list for financing.

Unfortunately, there is an alarming lack of investment in addressing the growing learning crisis. Governments, donors, the private sector, and strategic partners must work together to secure sufficient, effective, and equitable financing of education at global and domestic level.

This means more financing, but it also means better and more equitable financing – ensuring that those most in need receive their fair share. UNICEF’s research has shown that in some countries, as little as 10 per cent or less of public education spending goes to children from the poorest households. This simply isn’t right.

UNICEF is urging governments to invest 20 per cent of their domestic budgets to education and to direct funds to the communities with the greatest need, including children and youth affected by conflict and crisis. We are also calling on civil society and the private sector to rally behind conflict and crisis-affected children – including by supporting Education Cannot Wait. These children have the same right as children everywhere to access a quality education. But we need sustainable, flexible financing to reach every child.

On 22 February 2022, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell (left) interacts with students at Islamabad Model School for Girls G9, where teachers use an innovative mix of digital and traditional learning to teach children. Credit: UNICEF/Asad Zaidi

ECW: Education is the great equalizer. How can SDG4 – ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ – help us reach the other SDG targets and why is education important to achieving global security and sustainable development?

Catherine M. Russell: In many ways, SDG4 on education is the bedrock of the SDGs. Education has a substantial impact on the health, wealth, safety, and equality of communities. For example, secondary education could lift 420 million people out of poverty.

Girls’ education offers additional benefits. When we invest in girls’ education, their future earnings increase, child marriage rates decline, and maternal mortality rates fall. It is essential to unlock a more gender-equitable, prosperous, and healthy future for all.

In emergencies, schools provide a crucial sense of normality and safety, as well as connecting children and their parents to essential health, mental health and psychosocial services. Education also provides children with life-saving information, including for those who live in areas contaminated by unexploded ordnance or in areas of high climate risk.

SDG4 isn’t just about getting kids into school. It also includes a clear target to achieve free, quality primary and secondary education – and better learning outcomes. Unfortunately, many education systems around the world are still not achieving this target.

Children and young people are counting on us to redouble our efforts. They are so eager to learn. They know how much depends on it. And they are raising their voices and taking action.

On my visit to Pakistan, where over 22 million children aged 5-16 are out of school, I heard directly from young people about the power of education. I met Shahnaz, who wanted to go to school so badly that when a boys-only center for accelerated learning opened in her village, she decided to dress as a boy to be allowed in the center.

I also met a young girl who uses a wheelchair – and who asked me to remind the world that children with disabilities are often the most excluded of all.

We need to reach these children – and we need to match their dreams and ambitions with concrete commitments and action.

We have less than eight years to achieve SDG4, and not a moment to lose. We urgently need governments to implement the RAPID framework to support remedial education and get every child learning, now.

On 26 April 2022, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell interacts with children at a child-friendly space supported by UNICEF at Higlo Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) site in Ethiopia. Credit: UNICEF/Zerihun Sewunet

ECW: The world will come together this September for the Transforming Education Summit, convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres. How can we use this moment to reimagine more effective delivery of quality education for the more than 222 million crisis-affected children that need urgent educational support?

Catherine M. Russell: September’s Transforming Education Summit is a pivotal moment. With the eyes of the world on education, we need to use this opportunity to get everyone behind learning, for every child – including those living through crises.

UNICEF is supporting national consultations and opportunities for countries to discuss their roadmaps for education recovery – and beyond. We are using this opportunity to call for urgent, concrete action to address the learning crisis, prioritizing the most marginalized children. And UNICEF country and regional offices around the world are working with their governments to drive change at the national level.

The Pre-summit and the Summit will be critical moments for countries to share plans and actions coming out of these national consultations. We also need to share best practices, learn from each other, and establish roadmaps for recovery and transformation.

While the Summit is important, it should not be the end of our efforts. We need to look beyond September to 2023, 2030, and beyond.

UNICEF is committed to working with our partners to follow up and move forward – and we are working closely with young people themselves. We need their perspective and their ideas. It will be exciting to see these efforts bearing fruit in short and long term.

What If a Patient Unplugged the Oxygen Tube That Keeps Them Alive?

The oceans produce 50% of the planet’s oxygen, absorb 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming, and are the main source of protein for a billion people around the world. Credit: IPS

The ocean produces 50% of the planet’s oxygen, absorbs 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming, and is the main source of protein for a billion people around the world. Credit: IPS

By Baher Kamal
MADRID, Jun 7 2022 – Imagine a patient connected to a vital oxygen device to keep him or her breathing, thus alive. Then, imagine what would happen if this patient unplugged it. This is exactly what humans have been doing with the source of at least 50% of the whole Planet’s oxygen: the oceans.

But oceans do not only provide half of all the oxygen needed. They also absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming while alleviating its consequences on human health and that of all natural resources.

 

The carbon — and heat– sink

The world’s oceans capture 90% of the additional heat generated from those emissions.

In short, they are not just ‘the lungs of the planet’ but also its largest carbon sink.

The ocean is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world.

And over three billion people rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, the vast majority in developing countries.

Oceans also serve as the foundation for much of the world’s economy, supporting sectors from tourism to fisheries to international shipping.

 

Nevertheless…

Despite being the life source that supports humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on Earth, oceans are facing unprecedented real threats as a result of human activity.

While providing the above facts, this year’s World Oceans Day (8 June) warns about some of the major damages caused by human activities, which devastate this source of life and livelihood.

This report is also based on data from several specialised organisations, such as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), among others, as well as a number of global conservation bodies, including the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

 

Too many causes. And a major one

Oceans as dumping sites: There are several major threats leading to suffocating the world’s lungs.

Such is the case –for example, of overfishing, illegal fishing and ghost fishing–, human activities have been transforming world’s oceans into a giant dumping site: untreated wastewater; poisonous chemicals; electronic waste; oil spills, petrol leaks, oil refineries near rivers and coastal areas, ballast waters, invasive species, and a very long etcetera.

 

Credit: Albert Oppong-Ansah/IPS

 

Plastic

Of all these, plastic appears as one of the major sources of harm to oceans. See the following data:

As much as 75 to 199 million tons of plastic are currently found in our oceans.

Unless the world changes the way how to produce, use and dispose of plastic, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems could nearly triple from 9-14 million tonnes per year in 2016 to a projected 23-37 million tonnes per year by 2040.

How does it get there? A lot of it comes from the world’s rivers, which serve as direct conduits of trash into lakes and the ocean.

In fact, around 1.000 rivers are accountable for nearly 80% of global annual riverine plastic emissions into the ocean, which range between 0.8 and 2.7 million tons per year, with small urban rivers amongst the most polluting.

Plastic everywhere: Wherever you look and whatever you see, buy and use, there is plastic: food wrappers, plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic grocery bags, plastic straws, stirrers, cosmetics, lunch boxes, ballpoints, and thousands of other products.

Cigarette butts: Then you have the case of cigarette butts, whose filters contain tiny plastic fibres, being the most common type of plastic waste found in the environment.

Today, the world produces about 400 million tons of plastic waste … every year.

Plastic addiction: Such human dependence on plastic has been steadily increasing. Since the 1970s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material. If historic growth trends continue, global production of primary plastic is forecasted to reach 1.100 million tonnes by 2050.

“Our seas are choking with plastic waste, which can be found from the remotest atolls to the deepest ocean trenches,” reminds the United Nations chief António Guterres.

Fossil fuel: As importantly, some 98% of single-use plastic products are produced from fossil fuel, or “virgin” feedstock. The level of greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production, use and disposal of conventional fossil fuel-based plastics is forecast to grow to 19% of the global carbon budget by 2040.

Mare Nostrum: This small, semi-closed sea –the Mediterranean is considered as one of the most affected regional seas by marine litter.

In fact, the annual plastic leakage is estimated at 229.000 tons, 94% of which consist of macroplastics. Plastics constitute around 95% of waste in the open sea, both on the seabed and on beaches across the Mediterranean.

COVID-19: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) February 2022 publication: Global Plastics Outlook reports that the increase in the use of protective personal equipment and single-use plastics has exacerbated plastic littering on land and in marine environments, with negative environmental consequences.

Rivers: The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports that, flowing through America’s heartland, the Mississippi River drains 40% of the continental United States – creating a conduit for litter to reach the Gulf of Mexico, and ultimately, the ocean.

Data collected through the Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative shows that more than 74 per cent of the litter catalogued in pilot sites along the river is plastic.

Electronic waste: should all this not be enough, please also know that the world produces 50 million tons of e-waste, a portion of it ends up in the ocean.

 

Ghost fishing

According to an October 2020 report released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and authored by Alexander Nicolas, more than 12 million tons of plastic end up in the world’s seas every year.

Fishing gear accounts for roughly 10% of that debris: between 500.000 to 1 million tons of fishing gear are discarded or lost in the ocean every year. Discarded nets, lines, and ropes now make up about 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Alexander Nicolas explains.

This marine plastic has a name: ghost fishing gear.

“Ghost fishing gear includes any abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear, much of which often goes unseen.

“Ghost fishing gear is the deadliest form of marine plastic as it un-selectively catches wildlife, entangling marine mammals, seabirds, sea turtles, and sharks, subjecting them to a slow and painful death through exhaustion and suffocation. Ghost fishing gear also damages critical marine habitats such as coral reefs.”

 

Overfishing

Overfishing is yet another major damage caused to the world’s oceans threatening the stability of fish stocks; nutrient pollution is contributing to the creation of “dead zones.”

Currently, 90% of big fish populations have been depleted, as humans are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing: A fugitive activity that further adds to the abusive overfishing, causing the depletion of 11–26 million tons of fish… each year.

IPS article The Big Theft of the Fish provides extensive information about these two major activities that deplete the oceans vital natural resources.

Untreated wastewater is another example of the damage made by humans to the oceans.

It has been reported that around 80% of the world’s wastewater is discharged without treatment, a big portion of it ends up in the oceans.

 

The oceans in a conference

All the above facts –and many more– are on the agenda of the United Nations Ocean Conference 2022 (27 June- 1 July), organised in Lisbon and co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal.

According to its organisers, the Conference seeks to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action. Cross your fingers!

China Renaissance Honored as One of the Top Ten-Biggest Private Equity Groups in Mainland China

HONG KONG, June 07, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — China Renaissance Holdings Limited ("China Renaissance" or the "Company"; stock code: 1911.HK) is pleased to announce that, the Company has been honored among the top ten–biggest private equity groups in mainland China, and ranked 150 in the world on the PEI 300 list, a ranking by London–based Private Equity International (PEI), a leading magazine for the private equity industry. The PEI 300 ranks groups by the amount of direct–investment private equity capital raised or formed over the last five years.

Launched in 2013, Huaxing Growth Capital ("HGC") is the flagship fund of China Renaissance's Investment Management segment and the principal private equity investment arm of the Company. As of December 31, 2021, CR's Investment Management segment had approximately US$7.7 billion of assets under management ("AUM"), with HGC's AUM reaching US$5.8 billion. HGC focuses on investing in companies in the growth and maturity stages, concentrating on "high–conviction" investments in the smart industries, smart technologies, smart healthcare, smart consumerism and smart enterprises.

Among over 100 deals invested by HGC, some have already completed their IPOs, including Meituan, KE, WuXi AppTec, Bilibili, Li Auto, Pop Mart, MGI, SenseTime and Navitas; while others are the top players in their respective sectors, such as SVOLT, Dreame, Calterah, and so on.

HGC manages four USD–denominated funds and four RMB–denominated funds, and enjoys an unparalleled industry network and extensive market coverage by leveraging the comprehensive resources provided by CR's platform. In addition to acting as the partner of choice and a quasi–strategic investor for Chinese Smart Economy champions, HGC serves as a bridge that helps global investors reach attractive investment opportunities in China. HGC continues to work closely with innovative founders and companies that bring greater value and convenience to people's everyday lives, and deliver solid returns for investors.

About China Renaissance

Founded in 2005, China Renaissance ("CR") is a leading financial institution that provides private placement and M&A advisory, equity underwriting, sales & trading, research, investment management and other services. Over the past 17 years, CR has been dedicated to identifying companies with significant growth potential and serving as a trusted partner to support their value creation journey.

CR has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, with more than 650 employees. As of June 30, 2021, China Renaissance has advised on and invested in over 1,125 transactions with a total value of over RMB 1.4 trillion(~US$220 billion ). As of December 31, 2021, the company's private equity funds had an asset under management ("AUM") of over RMB 49 billion (~US$7.7 billion).

CR Securities (formerly known as "Huajing Securities") is one of the first securities firms set up in accordance with Supplement X to the "Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)". Since its establishment, CR Securities has assembled strong investment banking, fixed income, asset management, wealth management, securities brokerage, and research teams to serve existing and new clients.

Media Contact

China Renaissance

Public Relations
Yuki Zhao
yukizhao@huaxing.com

Investor Relations
huaxingcapital@chinarenaissance.com

or

Sard Verbinnen & Co
ChinaRenaissance–SVC@sardverb.com


US Leads Sanctions Killing Millions to No End

By Jomo Kwame Sundaram and Anis Chowdhury
KUALA LUMPUR and SYDNEY, Jun 7 2022 – Food crises, economic stagnation and price increases are worsening unevenly, almost everywhere, following the Ukraine war. Sanctions against Russia have especially hurt those relying on wheat and fertilizer imports.

Unilateral sanctions illegal
Unilateral sanctions – not approved by the UN Security Council – are illegal under international law. Besides contravening the UN Charter, unilateral sanctions inflict much human loss. Countless civilians – many far from target countries – are at risk, depriving them of much, even life itself.

Jomo Kwame Sundaram

Sanctions, embargos and blockades – ‘sold’ as non-violent alternatives to waging war by military means – economically isolate and punish targeted countries, supposedly to force them to acquiesce. But most sanctions hurt the innocent majority, much more than ruling elites.

Like laying siege on enemy settlements, sanctions are ‘weapons of mass starvation’. They “are silent killers. People die in their homes, nobody is counting”. The human costs are considerable and varied, but largely overlooked. Knowing they are mere collateral damage will not endear any victim to the sanctions’ ‘true purpose’.

US sanctions’ victims
The US has imposed more sanctions, for longer periods, than any other nation. During 1990-2005, the US imposed a third of sanctions regimes worldwide. These were inflicted on more than 1,000 entities or individuals yearly in 2016-20 – nearly 80% more than in 2008-15. Thus, the Trump administration raised the US share of all sanctions to almost half!

Tens of millions of Afghans now face food insecurity, even starvation, as the US has seized its US$9.5 billion central bank reserves. President Biden’s 11 February 2022 executive order gives half of this to 9/11 victims’ families, although no Afghan was ever found responsible for the atrocity.

Biden claims the rest will be for ‘humanitarian crises’, presumably as decided by the White House. But he remains silent about the countless victims of the US’s two-decade long war in Afghanistan, where airstrikes alone killed at least 48,308 civilians.

Anis Chowdhury

Now, the US-controlled World Bank and IMF both block access to financial resources for Afghanistan. The long US war’s massive population displacement and physical destruction have made it much more vulnerable and foreign aid dependent.

The six decade-long US trade embargo has cost Cuba at least US$130 billion. It causes shortages of food, medicine and other essential items to this day. Meanwhile, Washington continues to ignore the UN General Assembly’s call to lift its blockade.

The US-backed Israeli blockade of the densely populated Gaza Strip has inflicted at least US$17 billion in losses. Besides denying Gaza’s population access to many imported supplies – including medicines – bombing and repression make life miserable for its besieged people.

Meanwhile, the US supports the Saudi-led coalition’s war on Yemen with its continuing blockade of the poorest Arab nation. US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have ensured the worst for Yemenis under siege.

Blocking essential goods – including food, fuel and medical supplies – has intensified the “world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crisis”. Meanwhile, “years of famine” – including “starving to death a Yemeni child every 75 seconds” – have been aggravated by the “largest cholera outbreak anywhere in history”.

Humanitarian disasters and destroying lives and livelihoods are excused as inevitable “collateral damage”. Acknowledging hundreds of thousands of Iraqi child deaths, due to US sanctions after the 1991 invasion, an ex-US Secretary of State deemed the price “worth it”.

Poverty levels in countries under US sanctions are 3.8 percentage points higher, on average, than in other comparable countries. Such negative impacts rose with their duration, while unilateral and US sanctions stood out as most effective!

Clearly, the US government has not hesitated to wage war by other means. Its recent sanctions threaten living costs worldwide, reversing progress everywhere, especially for the most vulnerable.

Yet, US-led unilateral sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and other countries have failed to achieve their purported objectives, namely, to change regimes, or at least, regime behaviour.

Changing US policy?
Although unilateral sanctions are not valid under the UN Charter, many US reformers want Washington to “lead by example, overhaul US sanctions, and ensure that sanctions are targeted, proportional, connected to discrete policy goals and reversible”.

Last year, the Biden administration began a comprehensive review of US sanctions policies. It has promised to minimize their adverse humanitarian impacts, and even to consider allowing trade – on humanitarian grounds – with heavily sanctioned nations. But actual policy change has been wanting so far.

US sanctions continue to ruin Iran’s economy and millions of livelihoods. Despite COVID-19 – which hit the nation early and hard – sanctions have continued, limiting access to imported goods and resources, including medicines.

A US embargo has also blocked urgently needed humanitarian aid for North Korea. Similarly, US actions have repeatedly blocked meeting the urgent needs of the many millions of vulnerable people in the country.

The Trump administration’s sanctions against Venezuela have deepened its massive income collapse, intensifying its food, health and economic crises. US sanctions have targeted its oil industry, providing most of its export earnings.

Besides preventing Venezuela from accessing its funds in foreign banks and multilateral financial institutions, the US has also blocked access to international financial markets. And instead of targeting individuals, US sanctions punish the entire Venezuelan nation.

Russia’s Sputnik-V was the first COVID-19 vaccine developed, and is among the world’s most widely used. Meanwhile, rich countries’ “vaccine apartheid” and strict enforcement of intellectual property rightsaugmenting corporate profits – have limited access to ‘Western’ vaccines.

The US has not spared Sputnik-V from sanctions, disrupting not only shipments from Russia, but also production elsewhere, e.g., in India and South Korea, which planned to produce 100 million doses monthly. Denying Russia use of the SWIFT international payments system makes it hard for others to buy them.

Rethinking sanctions
Economic sanctions – originally conceived a century ago to wage war by non-military means – are increasingly being used to force governments to conform. Sanctions are still portrayed as non-violent means to induce ‘rogue’ states to ‘behave’.

But this ignores its cruel paradox – supposedly avoiding war, sanctions lay siege, an ancient technique of war. Yet, despite all the harm caused, they typically fail to achieve their intended political objectives – as Nicholas Mulder documents in The Economic Weapon: The Rise of Sanctions as a Tool of Modern War.

As Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan and Venezuela were not major food or fertilizer exporters, their own populations have suffered most from the sanctions against them. But Russia, Ukraine and even Belarus are significant producers and exporters.

Hence, sanctions against Russia and Belarus have much wider international implications, especially for European fuel supplies. More ominously, they threaten food security not only now, but also in the future as fertilizer supplies are cut off.

With tepid growth since the 2008 global financial crisis, the West now blocks economic recovery. Vaccine apartheid, deliberate supply disruptions and deflationary policies now disrupt international economic integration, once pushed by the West.

As war increasingly crowds out international diplomacy, commitments to the UN Charter, multilateralism, peace and sustainable development are being drowned by their enemies, often invoking misleadingly similar rhetoric.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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