Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group Announces Expansion of Service for Middle East and Northern Africa

TEMECULA, Calif., Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nikkiso Clean Energy & Industrial Gases Group ("Group"), a part of the Nikkiso Co., Ltd (Japan) group of companies, is proud to announce yet another expansion of their manufacturing and service capabilities for the Middle East and Northern Africa markets. With this expansion, they will be providing pump and turboexpander aftermarket repairs of their full line, including J.C. Carter pumps. Their new state–of–the–art service center will allow repairs to be made locally rather than the need to ship elsewhere.

The new facility, based in the Sharjah Free Zone, was established to provide expanded support for the Middle East and Northern Africa markets. They have added field service support, and shop technicians specifically trained to support Marine, J.C. Carter, Nikkiso Cryogenic Pumps (ACD and Nikkiso Cryo) and Turboexpanders. In addition to in–shop and on–site repairs, they will provide aftermarket service.

"With this facility, we will be able to respond more quickly to our customer's needs, providing individual support and solutions expansion. Nikkiso CE&IG will now be able to provide greater service and support to our customers with our local presence," according to Jim Estes, President of Nikkiso Cryogenic Services.

This expansion represents their commitment to and support of the growth of the Middle Eastern and North African market.

Cryogenic Industries, Inc. (now a member of Nikkiso Co., Ltd.) member companies manufacture and service engineered cryogenic gas processing equipment (pumps, turboexpanders, heat exchangers, etc.) and process plants for Industrial Gases, and Natural Gas Liquefaction (LNG), Hydrogen Liquefaction (LH2) and Organic Rankine Cycle for Waste Heat Recovery. Founded over 50 years ago, Cryogenic Industries is the parent company of ACD, Nikkiso Cryo, Nikkiso Integrated Cryogenic Solutions, Cosmodyne and Cryoquip and a commonly controlled group of 20 operating entities.

For more information, please visit and

Anna Quigley

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at:–6550–4069–9f74–4f531a3eae7d

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Cellebrite and The Exodus Road Continue Combatting Human Trafficking in Brazil

PETAH TIKVA, Israel and TYSONS CORNER, Va. and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellebrite DI Ltd. (Nasdaq: CLBT), a global leader in Digital Intelligence (DI) solutions for the public and private sectors, and The Exodus Road, an international nonprofit organization specializing in disrupting human trafficking, today announced the impact of their collaboration in 2022 in Brazil.

As a result of Cellebrite's collaboration alongside The Exodus Road in Brazil with Brazil leading law enforcement organizations, nine successful operations were performed separately by the Brazil Federal Police, Border Police, and the Ministry of Public Labor in 2022.

The nine cases led to the direct intervention of 152 survivors of human trafficking and 20 perpetrators being held accountable. Despite the magnitude of this victory, the individual stories must not be overlooked. These individuals are people from all walks of life, ranging in age and nationality, who have been enslaved, exploited sexually, trafficked or forced into begging. The results from 2022 are a stark and vivid reminder that the fight against human trafficking is far from over. Cellebrite and The Exodus Road are committed to the mission of ending human trafficking in all forms.

"We are pleased to see our partnership with The Exodus Road have a significant impact in Brazil's efforts to combat human trafficking," said Marque Teegardin, President of Cellebrite Americas. "Cellebrite is committed to providing The Exodus Road with funding and in–kind solutions and services that support the growth of The Exodus Road's training programs and play an important role in the fight against human trafficking."

"In these cases and others, Cellebrite's contributions have empowered law enforcement, through the use of training curriculum and technology, in critical points of case development," commented Matt Parker, Co–founder and Chief Strategist at The Exodus Road. "The Exodus Road is grateful to have such a committed and robust partnership on the front lines of our work to disrupt human–trafficking crime."

About Cellebrite

Cellebrite's (Nasdaq: CLBT) mission is to enable its customers to protect and save lives, accelerate justice, and preserve privacy in communities around the world. We are a global leader in Digital Intelligence solutions for the public and private sectors, empowering organizations in mastering the complexities of legally sanctioned digital investigations by streamlining intelligence processes. Trusted by thousands of leading agencies and companies worldwide, Cellebrite's Digital Intelligence platform and solutions transform how customers collect, review, analyze and manage data in legally sanctioned investigations. To learn more visit us at,, or follow us on Twitter at @Cellebrite.

About The Exodus Road
The Exodus Road is a global nonprofit disrupting the darkness of modern–day slavery by partnering with law enforcement to fight human–trafficking crime, equipping communities to protect the vulnerable and empowering survivors as they walk into freedom. Working side–by–side with local staff, NGO partners and law enforcement around the world, The Exodus Road fights to liberate trafficked individuals, arrest traffickers, and provide restorative care for survivors. Since its founding in 2012, the organization has assisted police in the rescue of more than 1900 survivors and the arrests of 1000 offenders, numbers that grow almost daily. The Exodus Road's approach to freedom incorporates intervention, training and education, and aftercare efforts.

In September 2021, The Exodus Road launched TraffickWatch Academy: U.S., a free, online, multimedia training module that unpacks the complexities of human trafficking and educates viewers with methods for identifying signs of trafficking and how to intervene. The organization is also launching a similar training throughout Brazil designed specifically for law enforcement partners. In November, the nonprofit opened Freedom Home in Thailand to house survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The Exodus Road combats human trafficking in the U.S., Thailand, Brazil, the Philippines, India and in another Latin American country, undisclosed for security reasons.

For additional information on what you can do to help stop trafficking, please visit The Exodus Road's website at, or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Cellebrite Contacts

Victor Cooper
Public Relations and Corporate Communications Director
+1 404.804.5910


Investor Relations

The Exodus Road Contacts

Mackenzie Spillane
Director of Media Relations
+1 719–648–4291

GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8738359)

“I Was Blind, But Now I See” – Celebrating Malawi’s Progress on World NTD Day

Vainesi, a former trachoma trichiasis patient, cheers in celebration knowing that trachoma has been eliminated in Malawi. Vainesi had suffered with the pain caused by trachoma for 10 years before a local disability mobiliser encouraged her to go to the hospital for treatment.

By Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera
LILONGWE, Jan 30 2023 – “I was blind, but now I see.” This is what Vainesi, from Salima District in Central Malawi, said after surgery to treat trachoma. A mother of three, Vainesi had been unable to work or provide for her family once the disease began to affect her eyesight.

Vainesi is one of millions of Malawians who joins me in celebrating a historic milestone – in October, Malawi became the first nation in southern Africa to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem.

Our success in eliminating trachoma comes hot on the heels of another elimination success. Two years ago, in 2020, we also eliminated lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that leads to disfiguring swelling and disability

Trachoma is a bacterial infection of the eyes that causes severe swelling and scarring of the eyelids and is the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness. As recently as 2015, 7.6 million people in Malawi were at risk from this disease, but now this threat has been removed from our land. I wish to pay particular tribute to all our partners and friends of Malawi who supported our efforts in fighting trachoma.

Our success in eliminating trachoma comes hot on the heels of another elimination success. Two years ago, in 2020, we also eliminated lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes that leads to disfiguring swelling and disability.

Both trachoma and lymphatic filariasis are neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of 20 diseases and conditions that cause immeasurable suffering and affect more than one billion people worldwide. These diseases disproportionately affect those living in rural areas, like Vainesi, and often trap affected individuals in cycles of poverty.

Today, as countries across the globe commemorate World NTD Day 2023, I would like to reaffirm Malawi’s commitment to ending the burden of these diseases in our country and improving the quality of life of our citizens. And I am so proud of what we have accomplished so far.

Many children will be able to go to school and achieve their full potential. Malawi’s 2063 vision of a wealthy, industrialized, inclusive and self-reliant nation, able to stand tall amongst nations, will be fully realized.

It will take healthy people who can participate fully in economic development to make this a reality. Investing in NTD elimination programmes creates a ripple effect in society. It leads to better education, health and employment outcomes, and transforms lives and communities.

Individuals like Vainesi in Salima District, who is no longer housebound and unable to see, are a powerful example of how incredible this transformation can be. This is why it is important that preventable diseases that limit the potential of individuals to play an active role as proud citizens, can be eliminated.

H.E. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of Malawi

The return on investment that we’ve seen in fighting these diseases has been both robust and far-reaching. These same health systems are now being leveraged to deliver steady progress against several other NTDs, including river blindness and schistosomiasis.  What we now know is that progress fighting one NTD accelerates progress fighting other NTDs, building momentum and generating results. Of the 20 NTDs in existence, only six are present in Malawi today.

Other countries in Africa are also seeing great success using this approach. Just this August, Togo celebrated eliminating an amazing four neglected tropical diseases since 2011 —trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, human African trypanosomiasis, and Guinea worm disease.

However, there is still much work to be done – particularly in Southern Africa. An estimated 190 million people require treatment for at least one NTD among the 16 members states that comprise the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Malawi is the only SADC country to have eliminated an NTD, and the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened hard-earned progress. Concerted action is needed to galvanise action against NTDs and prevent future health threats from unraveling years of progress.

But my message is one of hope – and of the importance of making a commitment and accountability. This is why, I was proud to lead my country Malawi in endorsing the Kigali Declaration on NTDs – a high-level, political declaration which is helping mobilise political will and secure commitments against NTDs, joining Botswana, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda, and Vanuatu.

The theme of World NTD Day 2023 includes an important message: “Act now. Act together. Invest in NTDs.” I would like to see the names of all the countries in SADC on this list. When nations work together to lead NTD elimination efforts, we can accomplish so much. So today, I am calling on Heads of State in southern Africa to endorse the Kigali Declaration on NTDs – and commit to its delivery.

We are 100% committed to ending NTDs. Join us in committing to build a healthier, happier future.


H.E. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is President of Malawi

ASEAN Parliamentarians Cannot Escape ‘Lawfare’ or Violations of their Human Rights

Credit: ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

By Jan Servaes
BRUSSELS, Jan 30 2023 – Parliamentarians worldwide face increasing human rights violations and a greater risk of reprisal simply for exercising their mandate or expressing their ideas and opinions.

Asia follows the same trend according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). It is the second most dangerous region for MPs, with the number of cases recorded by the IPU increasing every year.

While instances of physical attacks remain rare in Southeast Asia, governments often resort to politically motivated charges against parliamentarians and opposition leaders in what has come to be known as ‘lawfare”.


Since the military takeover and the suspension of parliament in February 2021, the IPU has received specific reports of human rights violations against 56 MPs elected in the November 2020 vote.

Two new MPs, Wai Lin Aung and Pyae Phyo, were arrested in December 2021. This brings the total number of detained MPs to 30. Many of the detainees are reportedly held incommunicado in overcrowded prisons. where they are mistreated and possibly tortured, with little access to medical care or legal advice.

According to Amnesty International, torture and ill-treatment are institutionalized in Myanmar. Women have been tortured, sexually harassed and threatened with rape in custody,

Stop lawfare!

ASEAN member states must immediately stop using judicial harassment and politically motivated charges against critics and political opponents, the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) stated at a January 27 press conference in Manila under the banner: “Stop Lawfare! No to the weaponization of the law and state-sponsored violence.”

The press conference explained the continued use of lawfare and its effect on freedom of expression. It was a show of solidarity with parliamentarians and others facing this kind of repression.


The Philippines is ranked 147th out of 180 countries in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index, and the Committee to Protect Journalists ranks the Philippines seventh in its 2021 Impunity Index, which tracks the deaths of media workers whose killers go unpunished .

In the Philippines, “lawfare” has been used systematically by the previous administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and also by the current administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to suppress opposition voices. A notable case is that of APHR’s board member and former member of parliament in the Philippines: Walden Bello.

On August 8, 2022, Walden Bello was arrested on a cyber libel charge. Bello is facing politically motivated allegations filed by a former Davao City information officer who now works as Chief of the Media and Public Relations Department in the office of the Vice President, Sara Duterte.

The indictment against Walden Bello is a clear example of political intimidation and revenge designed to terrify opponents of the current Philippine government. It is a violation of freedom of expression, which is essential for a democracy.

In addition to Walden Bello, many other political leaders and activists, including Senator Leila De Lima, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Antonio Trillanes, have fallen victim to dubious justice. Senator Leila de Lima, was arrested in February 2017 on trumped-up drug charges, shortly after she launched a Senate investigation into extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration. She has been in detention ever since, still awaiting trial, despite several key witnesses retracting their testimony.

Many local and regional leaders are also suffering arbitrary detention following questionable arrests in the wake of government “red-tagging” campaigns against local activists and journalists, including human rights and environmental defenders.

Maria Ressa, who, as editor-in-chief of Rappler, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 together with a Russian journalist, has repeatedly been a victim of lawfare. They were recently acquitted of tax evasion. Ressa said it was one of several lawsuits former President Duterte used to muzzle critical reporting.

However, Ressa and Rappler face three more lawsuits: a separate tax suit filed by prosecutors in another court, her appeal to the Supreme Court against an online libel conviction, and Rappler’s appeal against the closing of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ressa still faces up to six years in prison if she loses the libel conviction appeal.

The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) therefore call on all “Southeast Asian authorities to stop abusing the justice system to quell dissent and urge ASEAN to reprimand member states that use laws to attack the political opposition.

The Philippine government can take the first step by dropping all charges against Walden Bello and immediately releasing Senator Leila De Lima and all others unjustly detained on politically motivated charges,” said Mercy Barends, president of APHR and member of the Indonesian House of Representatives.


“Lawfare is happening all over Southeast Asia and beyond. Governments in the region use ambiguous laws to prosecute political opponents, government critics and activists. This weaponization of the justice system is alarming and incredibly damaging to freedom of expression.

It creates an atmosphere of fear that not only silences those targeted by such lawfare, but also makes anyone who wants to criticize those in power think twice,” said Charles Santiago, APHR co-chair and former Malaysian MP.

Myanmar and Cambodia

In Myanmar and Cambodia, for example, treason and terrorism laws have been used to crack down on opposition. The most tragic example occurred last July, with the execution of four prominent Myanmar activists on charges of bogus terrorism by the Myanmar junta. These were the first judicial executions in decades and are an extreme example of how the law can be perverted by authoritarian regimes to bolster their power.

In Cambodia, members of the opposition are sentenced to long prison terms on trumped-up charges simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Journalists are increasingly subjected to various forms of intimidation, pressure and violence, according to a new report published by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).


Meanwhile, libel laws are among the most commonly used laws in Thailand where, unlike many other countries, it can be considered a criminal offense rather than just a civil crime. Sections 326-328 of Thailand’s Penal Code establish various defamation offenses with penalties of up to two years in prison and fines of up to 200,000 Thai Baht (approximately USD 6,400).

“I think we as parliamentarians in our respective countries should do our utmost to repeal or at least amend these kinds of laws. Our democracies depend on it. But I also think we can’t do it alone. We need to work together across borders, share experiences with parliamentarians from other countries and stand in solidarity with those who fall victim to it, because at the end of the day we are all in this together,” said Rangsiman Rome, member of the Thai parliament and APHR member.

Jan Servaes was UNESCO-Chair in Communication for Sustainable Social Change at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He taught ‘international communication’ in Australia, Belgium, China, Hong Kong, the US, Netherlands and Thailand, in addition to short-term projects at about 120 universities in 55 countries. He is editor of the 2020 Handbook on Communication for Development and Social Change.

IPS UN Bureau


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Will the Ukraine War be Resolved With Talks– or with Tanks?

US M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank Credit:

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 2023 – After much reluctance, the US and its Western allies last week agreed to provide Ukraine with some of the world’s most sophisticated battle tanks: American-made Abrams, German-made Leopards and British-made Challengers.

But the question remains as to whether these weapons will make a decisive difference to Ukrainian armed forces fighting a relentless battle with one of the world’s major military and nuclear powers.

According to the US Department of Defense (DOD), the new $400 million package announced last week represents the beginning of a contracting process to provide additional capabilities to Ukraine.

The package includes: 31 Abrams tanks with 120mm rounds and other ammunition; Eight Tactical Vehicles to recover equipment; Support vehicles and equipment; Funding for training, maintenance, and sustainment.

Alongside the battalion of Abrams tanks, a European consortium is committing to provide two battalions of Leopard tanks to Ukraine.

The DOD says the United States will “continue to work with our allies and partners to meet Ukraine’s battlefield needs to counter Russian aggression and ensure the continued freedom and independence of the Ukrainian people.”

Speaking from the White House on January 25, US President Joe Biden thanked every member of the Western coalition for continuing to step up.

The UK, he said, recently announced that it is donating Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine. France is contributing AMX-10s, armored fighting vehicles.

In addition to the Leopard tanks, Germany is also sending a Patriot missile battery. The Netherlands is donating a Patriot missile and launchers.

France, Canada, the UK, Slovakia, Norway, and others have all donated critical air defense systems to help secure Ukrainian skies and save the lives of innocent civilians who are literally the target — the target of Russia’s aggression, Biden said.

Listing the flow of arms to Ukraine, he said, Poland is sending armored vehicles. Sweden is donating infantry fighting vehicles. Italy is giving artillery. Denmark and Estonia are sending howitzers. Latvia is providing more Stinger missiles. Lithuania is providing anti-aircraft guns. And Finland recently announced its largest package of security assistance to date.

Will the on-again, off-again proposal for peace talks and diplomatic negotiations be undermined by the massive flow of new weapons?

Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told the US Senate last week “We want to put them in the best possible position so that whether this war ends on the battlefield, or whether it ends with diplomacy, or some combination, that they are sitting on a map that is far more advantageous for their long-term future, and that Putin feels the strategic failure.”

Captain Matthew Hoh, a former US Marine Corps Captain and State Department Officer said: “US and NATO tanks will not serve as wonder weapons to win the war for Ukraine.’

“Rather we should expect a reciprocal escalation by Russia that solidifies the stalemate and threatens expansion of the war. Only de-escalation, ceasefires and negotiations will bring an end to the war,” he added.

Lt Col Bill Astore, a former professor of history, co-author of three books and numerous articles focusing on military history and the history of science, technology, and religion, said a few dozen U.S., British, and German tanks won’t be decisive in Ukraine.

“What is needed is talks not tanks,” he pointed out.

“Talks aimed at ending this war before it escalates further. Talks, not tanks, will help to move the doomsday clock further from midnight and the nightmare of nuclear war,” he added.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said January 18 he did not believe there was an opportunity yet, to organise “a serious peace negotiation” between the warring parties in Ukraine, nearly a year on from Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Guterres told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he remained committed to alleviating the suffering of Ukrainians and vulnerable people in the wider world, still reeling from the conflict’s “dramatic, devastating impacts” on the global economy.

“There will be an end…there is an end of everything, but I do not see an end of the war in the immediate future,” Guterres said. “I do not see a chance at the present moment to have a serious peace negotiation between the two parties.”

Since 2014, the United States has committed more than $29.9 billion in security assistance to Ukraine and more than $27.1 billion since the beginning of Russia’s “unprovoked and brutal invasion” on February 24, 2022, according to DOD.

Ltc Karen Kwiatkowski, formerly at the Pentagon, National Security Agency and a noted critic of the U.S. involvement in Iraq said “the incremental escalation, tank company at a time, by US neoconservatives and NATO chickenhawks is unfocused, reactionary, and virtue-signaling instead of strategic”.

“For these reasons alone, the Western ‘alliance’ is in big trouble,” he declared.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Located at Hangar 510 at Biggin Hill Airport (EGKB/BQH), Jetex London has commenced full commercial operations and is welcoming international private jet flyers to the United Kingdom capital.

London Biggin Hill is a private airport which caters exclusively for aircraft in business and private aviation. 2022 was the strongest year ever for the airport, with more than 26,000 movements (up from 18,900 in 2021). It is recognized as a global center of excellence and the second private jet operation in the U.K. with 23% of London's market share after Farnborough (31%) and ahead of Luton (22%). The airport typically connects flights to more than 750 destinations across over 70 countries.

Jetex London is conveniently located just nine miles from Canary Wharf and 15 miles from Central London, with helicopter transfers taking passengers to and from the heart of the British capital in just six minutes, with limousine transfers taking less than 50 minutes.

The modern airport runway (1,806 meters) allows most aircraft to operate without payload or range restrictions, including non–stop transatlantic flights.

"We are pleased with our arrival in London. Jetex already has a strong presence in Europe with a flagship private jet terminal at Paris Le Bourget, and the new flagship Jetex London is a natural evolution of our operations. Private flyers will enjoy a seamless travel experience complemented by the greatest levels of luxury hospitality, while employing the latest technology will allow us to minimize carbon footprint."

Adel Mardini
Founder & CEO, Jetex

Jetex London will offer a suite of flagship services for passengers and crews traveling through the airport. It is a seamless, intuitive and dedicated route for Jetex customers to begin or end their journey in supreme comfort. The on–site U.K. Border Force and customs control will ensure that passengers and crew enjoy an efficient ground experience, while Jetex will also offer assistance with ground transport, hotel accommodation, catering, concierge services and much more.

Biggin Hill's green agenda is key to the airport's future development, and it echoes the global sustainability commitment of Jetex. The airport has been offering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) since April 2021.

“We are extremely proud that Jetex has chosen London Biggin Hill Airport as the destination for its latest FBO – the first in the United Kingdom. Jetex is one of the most respected and acclaimed businesses in private aviation, with an ambitious growth roadmap that reflects our own. We stand at the ready to welcome Jetex's customers to the capital and offer them the very best standards of service they have come to expect."

Robert Walters
Commercial Director, London Biggin Hill Airport

With natural materials, soft lighting, and floor–to–ceiling windows, Jetex London is designed to feel like a warm, contemporary space. The 1,900 sq.m. private terminal will include several supremely comfortable lounges of understated luxury designed with passenger privacy in mind, retail and entertainment areas, fully equipped boardrooms, shower suites and much more. Crews will appreciate a full range of on–site recreational and flight support facilities.

Jetex London marks the company's first entry into the U.K. as it looks forward to growing its operations in the market.

– END –

About Jetex:
An award–winning global leader in executive aviation, Jetex is recognized for delivering flexible, best–in–class trip support solutions to customers worldwide. Jetex provides exceptional private terminals (FBOs), aircraft fueling, ground handling and global trip planning. The company caters to both owners and operators of business jets for corporate, commercial and personal air travel. To find out more about Jetex, visit and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8738614)

Long, Costly Drought Drives Climate Crisis Home in Argentina

A photo of a field with parched grass in the province of Buenos Aires, an agricultural area par excellence in Argentina. The countryside is the source of more than half of the exports of this South American country, which is in dire need of foreign exchange to ease its economic crisis. CREDIT: Argentine Rural Confederations

A photo of a field with parched grass in the province of Buenos Aires, an agricultural area par excellence in Argentina. The countryside is the source of more than half of the exports of this South American country, which is in dire need of foreign exchange to ease its economic crisis. CREDIT: Argentine Rural Confederations

By Daniel Gutman
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 30 2023 – Martín Rapetti, a fourth generation farmer in the province of Corrientes in northeastern Argentina, has already lost more than 30 cows due to lack of food and water, as a result of the long drought that is plaguing a large part of the country. “There is no grass; the animals have to sink their teeth into the dry earth,” he says with resignation.

This extreme climatic phenomenon, which according to experts will become increasingly common, is much more than a threat of an uncertain future and already represents concrete damage: it will make Argentina, a global agricultural powerhouse, lose billions of dollars in exports this year, aggravating its economic crisis.

“The accumulation of three years with little rain makes the situation worse and worse. The streams and rivers are running dry and now the groundwater is also drying up,” Rapetti told IPS from the town of Curuzú Cuatía.“We also have to move forward with actions that go beyond the immediacy and that incorporate a climate perspective. In addition, we need political responses that strengthen our capacities, promote innovation and, ultimately, promote sustainable development.” — Cecilia Nicolini

“The cows are in very poor body condition. And the production of grains, citrus fruits and vegetables is suffering…Of the 300 hectares that we have for growing rice, we were able to plant only 35 due to lack of water,” added Rapetti, who has a medium-sized farm.

The consequences go far beyond rural areas because this South American country, which faces a delicate economic situation with inflation soaring to almost 100 percent per year and 40 percent of the population living in poverty, depends heavily on the countryside to bring in foreign exchange and sustain the value of its devalued currency.

During the first half of 2022, according to the latest official data, 57.6 percent of national exports came from the production of soy and the main grains (corn, wheat, sunflower and barley) and from beef and by-products like leather and dairy products.

The drought will reduce exports in 2023 by nearly eight billion dollars and this will have a heavy direct impact on the state coffers, which will receive more than one billion dollars less in taxes on exports of soy, corn and wheat, the three crops that cover the largest agricultural area in the country.

These figures were released on Jan. 17 by the Rosario Stock Exchange, a reference point in Argentina’s agricultural economy.

This South American country of 46.2 million inhabitants depends to a great extent on the countryside to sustain its economy. Argentina is the third world producer of soy, behind the United States and Brazil, and the second producer of beef, according to data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Soy alone, which is the current star of Argentine exports, generated sales of 12.1 billion dollars (27.3 percent of total exports), according to the official statistics agency. This includes soybeans, soybean oil and meal and soy flour.


A view of a vineyard suffering the consequences of the lack of water, in the province of Mendoza in western Argentina. That area of ​​the country, where crops depend on irrigation, is suffering the consequences of low levels in the reservoirs. CREDIT: Coninagro

A plant in a vineyard suffering from the lack of water, in the province of Mendoza in western Argentina. That area of ​​the country, where crops depend on irrigation, is suffering the consequences of low levels in the reservoirs. CREDIT: Coninagro


How to prepare for the future?

Due to climate change, extreme events such as droughts or floods will occur with increasing frequency and intensity, the national secretary for Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation, Cecilia Nicolini, told IPS.

“But these problems are not scenarios that we have to get used to or resign ourselves to. We need to adapt to their effects and transform our productive sectors to make them more resilient, while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions,” she added.

Argentina presented its National Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change in November.

The over 400-page document proposes managing agroforestry climate risks (from investments in infrastructure or promoting insurance for small farmers), bolstering water efficiency in industries and strengthening the meteorological monitoring network.

“We also have to move forward with actions that go beyond the immediacy and that incorporate a climate perspective. In addition, we need political responses that strengthen our capacities, promote innovation and, ultimately, promote sustainable development,” the official acknowledged.

Perhaps the most delicate aspect is that Nicolini herself estimated that the country needs 185 billion dollars in financing up to 2030 to implement the plan.

That is four times more than the record loan that the International Monetary Fund granted Argentina in 2018, a debt that since then has strangled economic growth. Nobody knows where this financing would come from, which Argentina demanded from developed countries at the last Conference of the Parties (COP27) on Climate Change, held in November in Egypt.

Cows and calves gather in search of food in the department of Curuzú Cuatiá, in the Argentine province of Corrientes. The drought has dragged on for three years now and in 2022 it was the main cause of forest fires, which affected more than 800,000 hectares in that northeastern province. CREDIT: CR

Cows and calves gather in search of food in the department of Curuzú Cuatiá, in the Argentine province of Corrientes. The drought has dragged on for three years now and in 2022 it was the main cause of forest fires, which affected more than 800,000 hectares in that northeastern province. CREDIT: CR


Financial assistance

On Jan. 20 Economy Minister Sergio Massa met with with the Liaison Board, which brings together the main agricultural business chambers, and promised to study a package of economic relief measures to be announced on Feb. 1.

In any case, he warned about the limits that the government faces in providing answers: “Perhaps there are solutions that are out of our hands. Argentina is not a country with a great capacity for State intervention, for reasons that we already know: indebtedness and difficulties in accessing markets.”

Beyond the difficult current situation, today agricultural producers themselves know that fundamental strategies will be needed to face extreme phenomena that are here to stay.

Mario Raiteri, a medium-sized producer of potatoes, beef, wheat, corn, soy and sunflowers in the town of Mechongué, 460 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, tells IPS that he grew up listening to his grandfather talk about the big floods in the 1940s and withering droughts in the 1950s, but that he had never experienced a phenomenon like the one seen in the last three years.

“My biggest worry is if this is just an occasional occurrence or if there really is starting to be a more frequent repetition of these events,” he said.

“In the second case, we need scientific organizations to give us new technologies designed to help us adapt. Knowledge is going to play a very important role, beyond other necessary issues, such as comprehensive agricultural insurance for family farms, because small producers will suffer the most,” he said.

In Argentina, 54.48 percent of the land area has been affected by water stress, according to the Drought Information System for Southern South America (SISSA), an institution created by governments and organizations to provide information and reduce vulnerability to this type of phenomena.

However, hydrologist Juan Borus, deputy manager of Information Systems of the National Water Institute (INA), said that in the last three years “there is not a single square centimeter of the territory that has not faced scarcity.”

Borus warns IPS that the country is currently plagued by dry rivers and lagoons that have shrunk and disappeared, and that the situation is not likely to improve for the remainder of the southern hemisphere summer and the fall.

The expert also warns about the impact on issues that have received less attention than agricultural production. One is the generation of electrical energy due to lack of water in the reservoirs, in a country that has committed to increasing hydropower generation as part of its climate change mitigation objectives.

Another issue is drinking water.

“Large cities on the banks of rivers should invest more money in pumping and purifying the water, because with lower levels of water in the rivers, the amount of pollutants and sediment is greater. And small towns that take water from drilling wells must deal with the decline of groundwater tables,” Borus said.

The crisis, he said, presents a great opportunity: “It is time for those who live in the humid part of the country to become aware of the need to take care of drinking water.”