UNICEF report: Number of children without critical social protection increasing globally

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The number of children without access to social protection is increasing year-on-year, leaving them at risk of poverty, hunger and discrimination, according to a new report released by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and UNICEF today.

More than a billion reasons: The urgent need to build universal social protection for children warns that an additional 50 million children aged 0-15 missed out on a critical social protection provision – specifically, child benefits (paid in cash or tax credits) – between 2016 and 2020, driving up the total to 1.46 billion children under 15 globally.

“Ultimately, strengthened efforts to ensure adequate investment in universal social protection for children, ideally through universal child benefits to support families at all times, is the ethical and rational choice, and the one that paves the way to sustainable development and social justice,” said Shahra Razavi, Director of the Social Protection Department at the ILO.

According to the report, child and family benefit coverage rates fell or stagnated in every region in the world between 2016 and 2020, leaving no country on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving substantial social protection coverage by 2030. In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, coverage fell significantly from approximately 51 per cent to 42 per cent. In many other regions, coverage has stalled and remains low. In Central Asia and Southern Asia; Eastern Asia and South-eastern Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Western Asia and Northern Africa coverage rates have been at around 21 per cent, 14 per cent, 11 per cent and 28 per cent respectively since 2016.

Failure to provide children with adequate social protection leaves them vulnerable to poverty, disease, missed education, and poor nutrition, and increases their risk of child marriage and child labour.

Globally, children are twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty – those struggling to survive on less than US$1.90 (PPP * ) a day – approximately 356 million children. A billion children also live in multidimensional poverty – meaning without access to education, health, housing, nutrition, sanitation, or water. Children living in multidimensional poverty increased by 15 per cent during the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing previous progress in reducing child poverty and highlighting the urgent need for social protection.

Moreover, the pandemic highlighted that social protection is a critical response in times of crisis. Nearly every government in the world either rapidly adapted existing schemes or introduced new social protection programmes to support children and families, but most fell short of making permanent reforms to protect against future shocks, according to the report.

“As families face increasing economic hardship, food insecurity, conflict, and climate-related disasters, universal child benefits can be a lifeline,” said Natalia Winder-Rossi, UNICEF Director of Social Policy and Social Protection. “There is an urgent need to strengthen, expand and invest in child-friendly and shock-responsive social protection systems. This is essential to protect children from living in poverty and increase resilience particularly among the poorest households.”

The report emphasizes that all countries, irrespective of their level of development, have a choice: whether to pursue a “high-road” strategy of investment in reinforcing social protection systems, or a “low-road” strategy that misses out on necessary investments and will leave millions of children behind.

To reverse the negative trend, the ILO and UNICEF urge policymakers to take decisive steps to attain universal social protection for all children, including:

Investing in child benefits which offer a proven and cost-effective way to combat child poverty and ensure children thrive.
Providing a comprehensive range of child benefits through national social protection systems that also connect families to crucial health and social services, such as free or affordable high-quality childcare.
Building social protection systems that are rights-based, gender-responsive, inclusive, and shock responsive to address inequities and deliver better results for girls and women, migrant children, and children in child labour for example.
Securing sustainable financing for social protection systems by mobilizing domestic resources and increasing budget allocation for children.
Strengthening social protection for parents and caregivers by guaranteeing access to decent work and adequate benefits, including unemployment, sickness, maternity, disability, and pensions.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



Grenada to start taxing lottery winnings

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Grenada will enforce a 15 per cent tax on all games of chance winnings above EC$10,000 (One EC dollar = US$0.37) from Wednesday.

The amendment to the Income Tax Act of 2010 which provides for the tax to be levied was approved in 2014 by the then-Keith Mitchell administration but was never enforced.

According to the legislation, taxes are to be paid on “winnings of cash and any reference to an amount and to payment in relation to winnings”.

“A withholding tax of 15 per cent will only be charged on the excess over EC$10,000 and not the full winnings,” explained Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Mike Sylvester.

The law will apply to all games of chance, including lottery and bingo.

Payment of the tax to Government will not be the duty of the winner but the promoter of the game of chance who must make the deduction and pass it on to the Ministry of Finance.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



Jamaica opposition against cannabis imports from Canada

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The parliamentary opposition is expressing concern about reports that the go ahead has been given for importation of cannabis from Canada, even while local farmers face difficulties exporting to the North American country.

In a media release Wednesday afternoon, Opposition Spokesperson on Industry, Investment and Global Logistics, Anthony Hylton, said he had serious concerns over the reported decision of Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) to approve importation from Canada.

He termed the development as alarming.

Hylton said he strongly opposed the decision, “particularly because several attempts to legally export cannabis and cannabis products from Jamaica to the Canadian market have been met with resistance, including trade barriers.”

Hylton said the decision by the CLA to grant import licences for cannabis grown in Canada to be imported into Jamaica deserves a full explanation to the stakeholders in the local industry regarding the basis for such a decision.

He is demanding a quick response from the Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Aubyn Hill, on the agency’s decision.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



Rising Dancehall Artist Al’Qual Killed In Kingston Shooting Incident

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Fast-rising dancehall artist, Al’Qual, was shot and killed in Kingston. The deejay was shot dead early Wednesday morning by an unidentified individual or


Bored Of The Beach? Here Are Tips For Alternative Activities In The Caribbean

Black Immigrant Daily News

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Mar. 1, 2023: The Caribbean is certainly a very popular travel destination. Even locals enjoy taking holidays here, rather than going somewhere else. Obviously, the Caribbean is especially popular for taking beach holidays, where you relax while laying on a beach and here, we’re going to explore the opportunities that the islands have to offer.

Sometimes, this is not enough. Maybe you are more used to the excitement of online casinos in Canada or some other thrilling activities. In this case, the Caribbean can still be a great place for a holiday. You just need to switch up your itinerary a little bit. If you continue to read this article you will learn about different fun things to do in the Caribbean instead of laying on the beach.

The Caribbean has many different casinos

If you really love the excitement of casinos, you can actually find possibilities for this in the Caribbean. Namely, there are many great casinos you can visit to have an exciting night of playing games. Casinos are prominent in the Caribbean, and you’ll always find what you’re looking for.

Depending on where you are in the Caribbean, you can have many great casinos to visit. For example, some popular options are Royal Beach Casino and Casablanca Casino. Not to forget the casino with the most famous name of them all, Casino Royale. All of these options will certainly offer an unforgettable night for you.

Try fun Caribbean sports

Being active on your holiday can be actually incredibly fun and entertaining. You simply need to choose an activity that is fun to do. And when it comes to the Caribbean, there are certainly many options for this on the beautiful ocean water.

For example, you can try out many sports that are not possible at all in different places. For example, you could try windsurfing or waterskiing. Neither of these things is possible in many other places, so trying them in the Caribbean makes it extra fun.

Hiking routes are full of stunning sightseeing opportunities

These sports are not the only possibilities there are. If you are looking for an activity that can be altered to fit your physical shape, hiking might be the best option for you.

You can choose a challenging route, that will make you sweat even if you are used to exercising. On the other hand, you can also find some more relaxing journeys, that will be fun to do with the whole family. Nevertheless, you can always be sure that your hike will be full of some unforgettable moments and stunning nature.


Surinamese President starts wide consultation to ease political tension

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Chandrikapersad Santokhi

President Chandrikapersad Santokhi began hearings with various civil society organisations and groups in an attempt to de-escalate the high political tensions in the country, but two key groups have refused to be part of the consultations.

The head of state said that he wanted to obtain input from society to adjust his policy, after a peaceful demonstration on February 17 turned into large-scale riots in the capital Paramaribo in which numerous businesses were looted and destroyed and the Parliament building was also attacked by demonstrators.

While President Santokhi indicated that he wants to have dialogue with all groups Trade Union C-47 and the Association of Economists in Suriname (VES), say they will not participate in the discussions with the head of government.

C-47 chairman Robby Berenstein is not satisfied with the implementation of previous proposals made to the government by the trade union and therefore sees no point in talking to Santokhi again without concrete actions being taken by the government.

The President will hear from the trade unions, individual citizens, social groups, political parties and the business community. The president said in the National Assembly last Friday that he will allocate two weeks for these talks. If necessary, the period will be extended.

“We first want to know the status of the things we have requested. Before you come and talk about national dialogue, start giving us an answer to that. We don’t even know where the dialogue should lead,” Berenstein said.

VES cited similar reasons for not participating in the consultations, though it said it is available to provide concrete support to make the country’s economy healthy.

A letter from the organisation to the president indicated that the advice given from June 2020 and in other consultations had not been implemented.

VES claims to have advised the president at an early stage to hold a national dialogue. However, this was not heeded and it said the government had shown itself to be insensitive to the cries from society.

“We already advised you on June 16, 2020 to immediately implement the necessary ‘unpopular’ economic measures. As a result, the derailed economy would return to equilibrium within one year. However, you have continued to consistently ignore the dozens of opinions issued by the VES since then, and your government has remained insensitive to the consequences we have tried to shield you from,” the VES said.

The Surinamese Association of Journalists (SVJ) was one of the organisations received by President Santokhi on Sunday. During the dialogue, the SVJ pointed out the importance of freedom of the press and the right of free expression.

With regard to the freedom of expression of citizens, the media organisation explained that in addition to the citizen’s duty to comply with laws and regulations, the government has an important constitutional task to ensure that this right of citizens is not hindered or limited and at the same time safety is guaranteed to society.

The SVJ has stressed that it is unacceptable that under the pretext of guaranteeing security, the fundamental right of citizens to express their opinion freely and to hold protest demonstrations will be restricted by the government.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



Haiti needs the world’s attention says PM

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

A day after his return from a Caricom mission in Haiti, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, told a diplomatic audience Tuesday that the French-speaking Caribbean nation needs the attention of the world.

Speaking at a Diplomatic Week event held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the prime minister gave his preliminary observations on the Haiti mission, in advance of the formal report.

“All stakeholders that we have spoken to [in Haiti] have pointed out the emergency situation they face with security and safety of their citizens,” Holness said.

He pointed out that although he holds the view that “Haiti has institutions that are functioning”, these institutions are challenged.

“And with the right support, with the right attention, Haiti can overcome its challenges,” he added.

The prime minister affirmed: “I remain hopeful for the Haitians, and Jamaica and Caricom stand in solidarity with them. And we will continue to use our good offices and give whatever support we have in bringing global attention to the situation in Haiti and in supporting the Haitian people in reaching consensus and resolution of their challenges.”

For her part, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who was also a part of the mission, said: “We are deeply concerned about our Haitian brothers and sisters and we are working with our partners to treat the matter with the urgency that it deserves.”

She outlined that yesterday’s meetings were “well received” and “we look forward to discussing them formally within the wider Caricom body and beyond”.

Following the prime minister’s address, His Excellency Neville Gertze of the Republic of Namibia, commented that there is an “urgent need” for strengthened multilateralism, one that “is based on caring for one another”.

“And I’m taking the floor really just to say to you that we appreciate that you are bringing the spotlight to the crisis in Haiti. When the focus of the world is elsewhere, we should ensure that we do not leave others out. We should ensure that inclusivity is the order of the day, and we recognise the efforts you are [making],” Gertze said.

The Caricom delegation of leaders convened high-level talks with government officials and civil society in Haiti on Monday and heard from the relevant stakeholders in a bid to determine a path towards consensus-building for the restoration of political and security stability in the country.

This was in addition to a meeting with Canada on the matter of security.

The Caricom team also met with the High Transition Council and the Political Accord groups as well as the political parties, civil society, private sector and religious groups.

Diplomatic Week in Jamaica is being observed under the theme ‘Transcending Borders, Strengthening Partnerships, Advancing Development’.

More than 50 resident and non-resident Heads of Mission are participating in the week’s programme.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



FAO’s FAOSTAT data shows Caribbean has highest cost of a healthy diet

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Today, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has made publicly available country-by-country indicators on healthy diets that show their cost – including by food group – and the amount of people unable to afford them.

The data serves as a reminder that even if the world has made progress towards providing enough calories to feed the global population, there remains a long road ahead to sustainably nourishing all people, everywhere.

Recently, FAO did an extensive analysis of how many people can in fact afford a healthy diet, one that offers a diversity of nutrient-rich food, aligned with dietary guidance.

The result was sobering: Billions of people in the world cannot afford a healthy diet.

Now the indicators developed by FAO with critical inputs from researchers at Tufts University and the World Bank show, for example, that Latin America and the Caribbean has the highest cost of a healthy diet compared to other regions, at $3.89 per person per day in 2020, followed by Asia ($3.72), Africa ($3.46), Northern America and Europe ($3.19) and Oceania ($3.07).

Between 2019 and 2020, Asia witnessed the highest surge in the cost of a healthy diet (4.0 percent), followed by Oceania (3.6 percent), Latin America and the Caribbean (3.4 percent), Northern America and Europe (3.2 percent) and Africa (2.5 percent).

Almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020 – an increase of 112 million more people than in 2019, reflecting the higher costs of a healthy diet in 2020. This was mainly driven by Asia, where 78 million more people were unable to afford this diet, followed by Africa (25 million more people), and to a lesser extent by Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern America and Europe (8 and 1 million more people, respectively).

In 12 countries, all of them in Africa, more than 90 percent of the population cannot regularly afford a healthy diet

The same is true of more than half the population in 53 countries for which data is available. In 26 countries that figure is less than 1 percent.

Available for allThe set of indicators has now been made available for all to view and download on FAO’s easy-to-use data hub. FAOSTAT is the world’s largest data platform for food and agriculture with around 20 000 indicators covering more than 245 countries and territories.

The computing, monitoring and reporting of the global, regional and country level indicators on the cost and affordability of a healthy diet (CoAHD) is now institutionalized and will be regularly updated by FAO. This provides a powerful new benchmark for tracking global progress towards making healthy diets affordable to all.

These indicators rely on an integrated suite of data, computed based on variables including the retail prices of locally available foods and food-based dietary guidelines to, country household income distribution patterns and the formulas required to establish purchasing power parities.

“Putting an end to hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms (including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity) is about more than securing enough food to survive: What people eat must also be nutritious,” said David Laborde, Director of FAO’s Agrifood Economics Division. “Yet a key obstacle is the high cost of nutritious foods and the low affordability of healthy diets for vast numbers of people around the world.”

“Tracking the cost and affordability of healthy diets is a step-change towards recognizing the need to nourish and not just feed the world,” said FAO’s Director of Food and Nutrition, Lynnette Neufeld. “This new methodology also provides us with the starting point to generate locally relevant evidence to guide policy and programmes to make healthy diets affordable for all people, at all times.”

This CoAHD initiative by FAO is part of a larger set of activities that will contribute to achieve one of four of FAO’s objectives within its 2022-31 Strategic Framework – Better Nutrition.

“Measuring and systematically monitoring the cost and affordability of healthy diets and making progress towards ensuring the affordability of healthy diets is of upmost importance and urgently needed. FAO has stepped up and taken on this task,” said Jos? Rosero Moncayo, Director FAO Statistics Division.

How it works

FAO computes eight indicators on cost and on affordability.

A healthy diet provides not only adequate calories but also the right types of nutrient-rich foods from a variety of food groups as recommended by food-based dietary guidelines. The reference diet is estimated based on a “representative” adult consuming 2 330 kilocalories per day – an approach commonly used for food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs). The lowest cost locally available foods, at recommended portion sizes from six food groups (staple foods, vegetables, fruits, animal source foods, legumes nuts and seeds, and oils and fats) make up the reference healthy diet.

The consumer prices of these foods are obtained from the World Bank International Comparison Programme (ICP) and are updated using national consumer food price indices. For international comparisons, prices are converted into international dollars using purchasing parity (PPP) exchange rates, and national income distributions. The affordability threshold is defined as 52 percent of the average household expenditures.

Future prospectsThe availability of these indicators at the global, regional and country level now sets the stage for increased accountability, using timely data on retail prices of nutritious food items in all countries of the world. Future work will accelerate price data updates.

This initiative is part of the broader commitment that FAO has to generate evidence to advise countries on their food and nutrition policies. FAO encourages its Members and all stakeholders to expand the computing and reporting of these indicators to the subnational level, thereby contributing to the pursuit of more tailored policies and programmes to have greater impact on the ground. FAO and the Government of Pakistan are already working on such an approach.

The next report on The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World will be launched in July 2023.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



CAF, ECLAC to discuss fiscal decentralisation and cooperation for Gender Equality

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

On Monday March 6 government officials and experts will come together at two high-level events organized by the CAF-development bank of Latin America- and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Among other topics, participants will debate the challenges related to taxation and decentralisation in the region and the role of public policies and cooperation for gender equality.

Both in-person events will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago to coincide with the CLXXVII meeting of the CAF board of directors scheduled for March 6-9 in Chile.

The first, the High-Level Meeting: Public Policies and Cooperation for Gender Equality, will be held from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. local time in Chile (GMT -3), to commemorate National Women’s Day, March 8.

The opening remarks will be offered by ECLAC Executive Secretary Jos? Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, CAF Executive President Sergio D?az-Granados, and the Chilean Vice-Secretary of Women and Gender Equality, Luz Vidal Huiriqueo.

At this meeting, CAF and ECLAC seek to foster a high-level dialogue where experiences, ideas and proposals can be shared on the challenges of incorporating a gender perspective when designing and implementing public policies and regional cooperation.

On Monday afternoon, the CEPAL-CAF Conference on Rethinking Decentralisation: Challenges for the 2030 Agenda will be held. The aim of this gathering is to contribute to the debate on how to improve the capabilities of subnational governments (tax collection, budget execution, etc.). A second topic is how to more efficiently design and organize relations between different levels of government to foster local development, innovation and the creation of opportunities.

After the opening remarks by Jos? Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs and Sergio D?az-Granados, the two representatives will sign a Memorandum of Understanding between CAF and CEPAL. Other invited speakers include Nicol?s Grau, the Chilean Minister of the Economy, Development and Tourism; Jos? Antonio Ocampo, Colombian Minister of the Economy and Public Credit; and Renata Vargas Amaral, Secretary of International Affairs and Development at the Ministry of Budget and Planning of Brazil.

All participants must be registered to attend these two events, which will be held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile (Av. Dag Hammarsk?ld 3477, Vitacura, Santiago. Ra?l Prebisch conference room). Journalists are required to present a press card from their news outlet or ID for entry.

Donate At Caribbean News Service, we do not charge for our content and we want to keep it that way. We are seeking support from individuals and organisations so we can continue our work & develop CNS further.



Travis Scott Names Suspect In New York Club Assault Case

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Travis Scott is reportedly a target in a police investigation for a club incident in New York. Multiple reports on Wednesday (March 1) revealed that the