Devex Newswire: Brazil vaccine race could turn into a business
This is a preview of Newswire
Sign up for this newsletter for a sneak peek of the biggest stories in global development, delivered to your inbox every day.
With the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine in Brazil having failed to keep pace with the crisis, private companies want to buy and distribute their own vaccines. Some warn against a “genocide of the poorest”.
Brazil has the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world after the United States, but only 7.5% of the country’s population had been fully vaccinated as of May 12. The delay stems in part from President Jair Bolsonaro. non-prioritization of vaccine acquisition, a Senate investigation ended on Wednesday. Now, business-friendly Bolsonaro is pushing for a proposal that would allow companies to purchase doses themselves – if they give at least half at the national vaccination plan, Augusta Saraiva reports for Devex.
• Fabio Villas-Boas, secretary of health for the northeastern state of Bahia – which is ahead of most vaccines – calls the proposal “absurd” because it favors those who are officially employed over to those who are not. “It is a genocide of the poorest,” he told Augusta.
• Brazilian companies are already allowed to buy vaccines, but they are currently required to give them all to the government until it vaccinates priority groups – who make up about 37% of the population.
• Brazil ranks fifth in the world in absolute number of doses administered – on 49 million – but the delay in signing the agreements makes health experts fear that the country is slow to receive the vaccines it has already purchased.
Lily: In Brazil, a bill would allow private companies to skip the vaccination line
BEASTS AND BURDENS
“This is a huge blow to donkeys, to animal welfare, and especially to the hard-working people who depend on donkeys for a living and to provide for their families. This trade had a horrible impact on them, with donkeys being stolen and sold to these slaughterhouses.
– Raphael Kinoti, regional director of the animal charity Brooke East Africa
Last year, under pressure from lawyers and researchers, the government of Kenya forbids the slaughter of donkeys for their skin. The growing demand for donkey skins in China has contributed to an epidemic of donkey theft that threatens livelihoods and subjects animals to cruelty. Last week, the government lifted the ban.
Lily: Kenyan donkey skin condemns ‘heavy blow’ for small farmers
WHAT IS GOING UP
Aid to Lebanon is losing value almost as quickly as international donors can deliver. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 85% of its value inflation since 2019, while food prices have increased by more than 400% in the past year. The result is that cash assistance programs – including for Syrian refugees – are only worth a fraction of their initial purchasing power, reports Kareem Chehayeb for Devex.
Get the most important development headlines delivered to your inbox every day.
Thank you for your subscription!
Lily: Inflation and exchange rates undermine value of humanitarian aid in Lebanon
CAMERA EATS FIRST
The European Space Agency and the Food and Agriculture Organization have signed a memorandum of understanding that will give FAO expanded access to Earth observation images with global coverage and a resolution of 10 meters squares per pixel. Teresa Welsh explains what the partnership – and 100 petabytes (1 petabyte = 1 million gigabytes) of ESA data – means for FAO’s ability to monitor global food systems.
Devex Pro: At the heart of FAO’s new partnership with the European Space Agency
Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of independence – along with remarkable progress in Human Developmentwrites Gregory Chen, head of the political team at CGAP. As countries seek to recover from the pandemic, Bangladesh proposes three major lessons in resilience, Writes Chen. The first magic ingredient? Recognizing that there is none.
Notice: Bangladesh is now 50 years old. Here are 3 lessons in resilience.
LACK OF BRAND
The efforts made over the years by the European Union to improve the impact and visibility of its funding in Africa are known as “Status Quo +”.
“I guess the most was added by some people because they were slightly embarrassed to come up with something that is only a little better than the status quo, which is not good,” Week said last Thomas Wieser of the Wise Persons Group.
Devex Pro: Wieser denounces EU ‘status quo +’ development reform plans
IN OTHER NEWS
A bogus vaccination campaign used by the CIA to locate Osama bin Laden’s hiding place in Pakistan has led to a drop in children’s vaccinations. [The Telegraph]
The UK and the UN plan to vaccinate thousands of delegates to COP26 in person in Glasgow. [Financial Times]
Sign up to Newswire for an inside look to the biggest stories in global development.
Printing articles to share with others violates our terms and conditions and copyright policy. Please use the sharing options on the left side of the article. Devex Pro subscribers can share up to 10 articles per month using the Pro sharing tool ( ).