Government grants – Grantstation Trendtrack Wed, 15 Sep 2021 12:55:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Government grants – Grantstation Trendtrack 32 32 China calls for the thaw of Afghan funds abroad Wed, 15 Sep 2021 12:55:25 +0000

BEIJING – China says it maintains contact between its embassy in Afghanistan and the Taliban and calls for the unfreezing of Afghan government funds held abroad.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that the Chinese embassy in Kabul “was operating normally.”

“We are ready to maintain communication with the new Afghan authority,” Zhao said.

China has yet to say whether it will recognize the Taliban government, but is actively wooing its top officials, welcoming a delegation led by its political leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in July, shortly before the group rose to power. in the midst of the withdrawal of American forces. and the massive exodus of Afghans fearing a return of the intransigent Islamic regime of the Taliban.

China has also strongly criticized the nature of the pullout and, while wary of the rise of radicalism on its western border, has generally supported the group seen as defeating its strategic rival, the United States.

Afghanistan is now on the brink of economic collapse and although China has offered its support, it is unclear when or how it will.

Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male caretaker government, but the exclusion of other political factions and women made it unlikely that they would gain broad international support or international recognition as legitimate leaders of the Afghanistan.

Without such recognition, the Taliban will be unable to tap into the billions of their frozen funds overseas, almost all of which come from the United States and other foreign donors.

Zhao said these funds should be unfrozen and handed over to the Taliban. “These assets belong to Afghanistan and the Afghan people,” Zhao said.

“The United States should face Afghanistan’s justified and reasonable appeals, drop the imposition of sanctions and pressures, and not hamper the economy, livelihoods and peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan,” he said Zhao said.



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ISLAMABAD – Members of the Afghan women’s football team and their families have arrived in Pakistan after fleeing their country following the Taliban takeover, local media reported on Wednesday.

It is not known how many Afghan women players and their family members were allowed into Pakistan.

According to Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Afghan women footballers entered Pakistan through the northwestern border post in Torkham with valid travel documents.

“We welcome the Afghanistan women’s football team,” Chaudhry tweeted, without providing further details.

However, the English-language Pakistani newspaper The DAWN reported that Afghan women footballers were given emergency humanitarian visas after the Taliban took control of Kabul, fearing the Taliban would not want women to participate in the sport.

The Taliban did not comment on developments, but an official confirmed that their government’s interpretation of Islam is that women are not allowed to play sports where they could potentially be exposed. The official was not authorized to speak with the media before any official announcement.

Last week, the Taliban announced an all-male interim government for Afghanistan, with veterans of their hardline 1990s rule and the 20-year battle against the US-led coalition. The move seems unlikely to win the international support the new leaders desperately need to avoid an economic collapse.

– Munir Ahmed in Islamabad;


THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The Dutch Foreign Ministry said it was evacuating nearly 150 people from Pakistan who had fled Afghanistan.

The Dutch government said Wednesday’s flight would take on nearly 50 Dutch nationals and their Afghan families as well as Afghans who have worked closely with the Netherlands in Afghanistan – mostly translators.

The Hague government has come under fire in recent weeks for failing to act sooner to evacuate Afghans who have worked with the government for the past 20 years.

Many of these Afghans fear persecution as a result of the Taliban’s rapid march to power.

The charter flight will also take nearly 100 other people who will fly from Amsterdam to other European countries.


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County Eyes 41 projects for federal funds | News, Sports, Jobs Sat, 11 Sep 2021 05:30:42 +0000

MAYVILLE – The federal government has given Chautauqua County $ 12.3 million and will give an additional $ 12.3 million as long as a plan is in place for how the county will use the money.

Money, which is part of the American Rescue Plan Act, can only be spent on certain things – water, sewage, broadband, and infrastructure. It can also be used to deal with recovery losses due to COVID-19 and public health initiatives.

County officials say it can’t be used to pay down debt, put into savings, used for pension funds, or to reduce taxes.

Since March, a select group of county officials have met with various department heads to develop a plan on how to spend the $ 24.6 million that has been set aside for Chautauqua County. County lawmakers heard the full plan for the first time on Wednesday.

The plan, which has yet to be adopted, has 41 projects. Currently, the county is not considering suggestions for future projects, but if the federal government approves the proposed infrastructure spending plan, some of the projects proposed in the US county bailout could be moved to the spending plan. infrastructure, which would allow additional projects. .

Mark Geise, Deputy County Director for Economic Development and Director of the County Industrial Development Agency, presented the 41 projects. They were divided into six categories: public health, infrastructure, economic and workforce development, drinking water, public safety and sundries. Below is a detailed list under each category.


¯ $ 700,000 for healthy homes and lead-based paint remediation. It would solve various problems, including roof and mold leaks, as well as lead-based paint, for low-income residents. “Children have been at home more often because of the pandemic and they have been exposed to dangers for a longer time, due to the fact that they had to be home schooled or that they were not in public day care centers” explained Christine Schuyler, county health director and social services commissioner.

¯ $ 378,000 for Strong Start Chautauqua, which helps younger and unborn children who are in poverty due to their mother’s addiction to drugs or alcohol. The money would be used for universal screening and awareness, as well as clinical training and technical assistance.

¯ $ 110,000 for information technology upgrades.

¯ $ 1.1 million to upgrade the Frank W. Bratt Agricultural Center in Jamestown. The building is currently vacant and needs improvement before it can be reused.

¯ $ 90,000 to renew personal protective equipment.

¯ $ 45,000 to buy Deterra sachets. These sachets are used to destroy unused prescription drugs and would be given to people who receive a prescription from a pharmacist.

¯ $ 100,000 for isolated housing. This money would be used for emergency aid to those who have a mandate to be isolated but have nowhere to go.

¯ $ 640,000 to improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning on county properties.

¯ $ 250,000 for paving at the county emergency services office in Mayville to create a drive-thru clinic.

¯ $ 200,000 for planning and preparing for public health emergencies. These funds would be used to assess the county’s response to the current pandemic and how to plan for future emergencies. Many of these plans are required for federal funds.


¯ $ 2.5 million to provide high speed Internet access to unserved or underserved communities in the county. The county would use the funds to allow Internet service providers to install infrastructure in rural areas of the county. “This is something that we have never undertaken in the county government – to invest in something that would not be a tangible asset for us on the outside”, County General Manager PJ Wendel explained.

$ 17,173,000 to increase County Internet bandwidth upgrades.

¯ $ 1.4 million for the installation of infrastructure for sites ready to be shoveled. According to Geise, the county will often receive calls from interested companies looking to locate here, but there are no good sites available. “In my humble opinion, the most important thing we can do is have these sites so that these companies can come and invest money here, pay taxes and create jobs,” he said.

¯ $ 650,000 to purchase a used 60 tonne crane for bridge work. According to Department of Public Facilities director Brad Bentley, the county has a 1970s crane, but it is struggling to find operators and parts for it. For this reason, when the county has to do bridging work, it often has to outsource this work.

¯ $ 480,000 to purchase two new dump / plow trucks. Bentley said the county has 33 trucks, 13 of which are over 10 years old. This would help speed up the renewal of their fleet.

¯ $ 810,000 to purchase a new snow plow. This snowplow would be used when there is too much snow for the county’s snowplow trucks to move. According to Bentley, they have a 1963 snow plow, but the parts are almost impossible to find. Without the snow plow, the county must rely on the State or National Guard for a snow emergency.

¯ $ 400,000 to buy a long-arm excavator. This would be used for ditch and stream work including help with ice jams.

¯ $ 72,000 to carry out an air services development study for the Jamestown County Airport. This study would help determine whether commercial air service will ever be able to return to Chautauqua County.


¯ $ 1.4 million to purchase sites that can be used for future development. This would be in addition to the $ 1.4 million for ready-to-dig site infrastructure. Geise added that Chautauqua County, compared to other counties in western New York State, has fewer sites available for development.

¯ $ 800,000 to strengthen the county occupancy tax program. Officials say this money would cover losses over the past year and a half when the county did not collect occupancy tax on vacation rental properties.

¯ $ 500,000 for the Chautauqua County Economic Growth Partnership. This initiative, which was launched in 2019, is used to develop projects each year and the money would be used for the required counterparts.

¯ $ 352,000 for the Chautauqua Advancement Project, in order to connect young university graduates with paid internships in companies in the region in order to eventually retain them in the community. This program is in partnership with JCC, SUNY Fredonia, County IDA and other agencies with a particular focus on manufacturing.

$ 240,000 to temporarily waive various charges for businesses in the county, for two years, that have been affected by the pandemic. Examples of businesses include campgrounds, restaurants, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and mobile home parks.

¯ $ 232,540 for Cornell Cooperative Extension’s farm improvement program. This money would help farmers improve vacant or underperforming farmland. “The idea is to help strengthen the agricultural community and the economic development that underpins it”, said Emily Reynolds, director of the CCE.

¯ $ 400,000 for marketing assistance for businesses and nonprofits, through the Chamber of Commerce, County IDA and Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau. Geise explained that this would create grants for businesses in the area to help them with their marketing.


¯ $ 8.4 million for the phase II sewer extension on the west side of Lac Chautauqua. This extension would reduce bacterial contamination of private water wells and reduce the nutrient load in the lake.

¯ $ 250,000 for the stabilization of the banks of watercourses along various roads that are easily damaged or flooded during heavy rains.

¯ $ 150,000 for a study of the Lake Chautauqua protection and rehabilitation district. This study would be different from those in the past, in that it would not focus on the properties of the lake, but rather on other properties that inadvertently impact Lake Chautauqua.

¯ $ 250,000 for the Jefferson project at Lac Chautauqua. This project makes it possible to identify the causes and solutions of harmful algal blooms and is in partnership with the Chautauqua Institution.


¯ $ 70,000 to renovate the old county printing plant so that it can be used by the district attorney’s office.

¯ $ 64,610 for new handguns for the Sheriff’s Department.

¯ $ 30,000 for new personal ballistic vests for the sheriff’s department.

¯ $ 318,000 for a body and two mail scanners for the county jail.

¯ $ 175,000 for new mobile and portable radios and vehicle repeaters.

¯ $ 30,000 for two towed electronic bulletin boards per vehicle.

¯ $ 41,500 for county emergency services office technology upgrades.

¯ $ 135,000 to replace the county dive boat. The current one was damaged in a recent rescue and is currently not in service.

¯ $ 121,000 for emergency medical equipment.


¯ $ 33,800 for scanning county records.

¯ $ 250,000 to improve the county’s trails. The money would fix bridges, culverts, kiosks, signs on Overland trails.

¯ $ 250,000 to create a part-time American Rescue PLAN Act Grant Administrator.


Legislature Speaker Pierre Chagnon said the Legislature will consider spending proposals at committee meetings this month. The goal is, hopefully, to adopt the whole plan in September. By putting the plan in place, the federal government will pay the county the remaining $ 12.3 million next year. He added that if the whole plan is adopted, department heads will still need to get final approval for each individual spending plan.

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Iowa City plans to use part of ARPA funds to help undocumented migrants Wed, 08 Sep 2021 11:01:44 +0000

Marchers walk along South First Avenue in a march from Catholic Worker House to a listening session in Mercer Park in Iowa City, Iowa on Wednesday August 11, 2021. Members of the Fund Excluded Workers Coalition, made up of 16 groups, marched to draw attention for the city to receive US bailout money to help refugees, immigrants, excluded workers, undocumented immigrants, previously incarcerated people, workers cash economy and their families who they believe took disproportionate risks during the pandemic. (Jim Slosiarek / The Gazette)

IOWA CITY – Iowa City City staff have unveiled four emerging relief recommendations that could be implemented with American Rescue Plan Act funds as early as late 2021.

Among those recommendations are one-time payments to undocumented adults who have been excluded from stimulus checks, unemployment and other federal benefits. This could make Iowa City one of the first U.S. cities to provide federal pandemic relief funds to undocumented workers.

Mayor Bruce Teague said one-time adult payments that were excluded from previous federal benefits was a “great opportunity.”

“There have been a lot of challenges that people have had, but when I look at the list I find hope and opportunity,” said Teague. “… I am also disheartened by many of the needs of our community during this time. “

City manager Geoff Fruin said the total number of people who would benefit from the one-time payments is unknown, but that number likely runs into the hundreds. Fruin and Deputy City Manager Rachel Kilburg presented emerging and long-term recommendations to Iowa City Council during Tuesday’s informal working session.

The other three emerging categories are eviction prevention services, emergency housing repairs and resettlement program and non-profit emergency operating assistance. The four categories of emerging needs could cost between $ 3 million and $ 6 million.

Fruin reminded board members to be flexible during this process as needs and priorities continue to change.

“We’re the first to come out with some of these recommendations,” Fruin said. “We must expect things to change.”

The city will receive $ 18.3 million under the American Rescue Plan Act, a $ 1.9 trillion relief program to respond nationally to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The city received half of its funds in May and is expected to receive the remaining funds in May 2022. The money is to be allocated by the end of December 2024 and spent by December 2026.

The city of Iowa City conducted a public participation process over the summer to see how residents would like to see federal pandemic relief dollars used. Common suggestions included helping undocumented migrants, providing bonuses for essential workers, and investing in affordable housing.

Residents also said they wanted the city to use the funding to improve high-speed internet access, expand mental health services, improve public transportation and raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour, between other suggestions.

The Fund Excluded Workers Coalition has called for federal pandemic relief dollars to go to undocumented immigrants, previously incarcerated people and unemployed workers.

Members of the Fund Excluded Workers Coalition gathered outside the Iowa City / Johnson County Senior Center prior to the formal council session and spoke during the council’s public comment period. Speakers expressed the urgency to support excluded workers both with their comments and the signs they were holding – “eI am ahora,which translates to “the time has come.” Many speakers have said that the money city staff recommend is not enough.

City staff recommend $ 1 million to $ 1.5 million for one-time payments, but Emily Sinnwell said at least $ 4 million should be provided by the city and $ 4 million from the county. Sinnwell provided translation services to the speakers who spoke in Spanish during the public comments.

The coalition released a report on Monday showing how some undocumented immigrant workers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many undocumented workers see themselves as essential and say they fear protecting themselves and their families from the virus. They also expressed concern about being able to pay for food, rent and other utilities.

The report is based on a survey of 289 undocumented immigrant workers statewide, including workers in Iowa City, Coralville and Cedar Rapids. The survey was conducted from June 26 to August 31.

The coalition lists six ‘solutions’ for local and state governments, as well as steps for local businesses and organizations:

  • Provide direct cash assistance of $ 3,200 to immigrant workers excluded from pandemic relief
  • Increased risk premiums for essential workers earning less than $ 15 an hour
  • Cancel rent and suspend mortgage payments
  • Pass paid sick leave guaranteeing workers 14 days of paid sick leave each year
  • Increase the number of affordable housing and develop public transport
  • Building the power of immigrant workers statewide

An additional public contribution for the use of ARPA funds will be required, Kilburg said. The summer public briefing focused on emerging needs and key priorities. Future public comment sessions will be used to refine focus areas.

For long-term strategic investments, city staff recommended eight categories consistent with what residents expressed during the public input process.

Priorities include BIPOC business support, social service needs assessment, affordable housing initiatives, mental health services, workforce development, climate resilience, support for small business, arts, culture and tourism, public infrastructure and income replacement for the city.

“I think the staff gave us a good start here, and I like both the split between emerging needs and strategic investments,” said Susan Mims, board member. “We need a plan that will help us move forward and build for the future.”

Council members agreed with the initial recommendations made by city staff. Several council members expressed the possibility of allocating more money for affordable housing or accelerating relief efforts for housing repairs as winter approaches.

As discussed in the informal council working session, the council did not vote on the use of funds. Specific proposals will be returned to the board for approval.

Strategic investments could cost between $ 15 million and $ 32 million. In total, municipal staff recommendations provide for a budget of $ 18 million to $ 38 million for emerging and strategic investments.

Initial estimates exceed the city’s allocation due to the likely overlap between city and county priorities. The Johnson County government is receiving $ 29.3 million under the law.

Fruin said a potential next step could be to organize a joint meeting between the Johnson County Board and Supervisory Board due to the close collaboration between the two governments to spend their respective ARPA funds. The county will hold its final public hearing on ARPA funds in late October.

Comments: (319) 339-3155;

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Balasore businessman detained for embezzling 6 million rupees in subsidies | Bhubaneswar News Sat, 04 Sep 2021 06:33:00 +0000 BHUBANEWAR: A Balasore-based businessman was arrested on Friday for allegedly embezzling government subsidies to the tune of nearly Rs 6 crore under the pretext of selling agricultural machinery and equipment to farmers.
The accused was identified by the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the State Crime Branch as Srinath Rana (48).
Rana, who previously worked as a regional manager for Varushapriya Agrotech Private Limited, a Bangalore-based company, had abused the company’s login ID and password to embezzle the grant amount.
The company, which has its branch in the Baramunda region here, lodged a complaint with the Bharatpur police station in January this year. The EOW resumed the investigation from the Bharatpur police on Wednesday.
Varushapriya Agrotech is an authorized supplier of paddy transplanters to farmers across the country and also provides various services to Odisha government under various subsidized programs.
During his tenure as regional manager in the company in 2018-2020, Rana was given the task of registering the sale of agricultural machinery and facilitating subsidies to beneficiaries / farmers by accessing the website of the department of state agriculture www.agrisnetodisha.ori.nic. in.
The cost of each paddy transplanter then varied between Rs 2.33 lakh and Rs 3 lakh. The government offered subsidies between Rs 93,320 and Rs 1.50 lakh on each machine.
According to the procedure, farmers would first buy agricultural machinery from the authorized dealer. The dealer then uploaded the details of the sale, along with photos of the beneficiaries, to the government website, after which the government transferred the amount of the subsidy to the farmers’ bank accounts.
“During the investigation, it was discovered that between 2017 and 2021, Rana, owner of the car agency M / s Tarini in Balasore, had fraudulently uploaded false sales details of more than 500 paddy transplanters with wrong engine and chassis numbers. He also uploaded the names and photos of bogus beneficiaries from 18 districts to the government’s direct benefit transfer portal, ”said Director General of Police (Crime Directorate) Sanjeeb Panda.
Subsequently, the government released the amount of the subsidy to the tune of approximately Rs 6 crore in favor of farmers.
The subsidies were credited to farmers’ bank accounts.
Rana had conspired with the poor peasants and paid them a few thousand rupees before withdrawing the grant amounts from their accounts. “Rana had embezzled government subsidies without selling or buying farm equipment,” Panda said. Although the farmers took advantage of this arrangement illegally, the EOW did not stop them as they were attracted to Rana, who paid them a few thousand rupees. ]]> 0
Social security trust funds could run out by 2034 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 14:21:49 +0000

“Social Security and Medicare are more crucial than ever for older Americans. Social Security is the only guaranteed source of retirement income, and Medicare provides the essential health coverage that seniors rely on and need, ”said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins . “Reports from today’s directors show that both programs are strong, but there are longer-term funding challenges to overcome. Any discussion of the benefits earned by Americans requires public input and full and open debate. “

Partial benefits would be paid after the trusts are exhausted

If no changes are made before the projected shortfall in 2034, Social Security would not have enough funds to pay full benefits to retirees. This would mean that recipients at that time would only receive 78 cents for every dollar they were expected to receive. More than 65 million Americans currently receive Social Security benefits.

There are in fact two separate social security trust funds: the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (AVS) and the Disability Insurance Trust Fund (AI). When examined separately (rather than the combined analysis used to predict the date of 2034), the AVS trust fund, which pays retirement and survivor benefits, is expected to run out in 2033, a year earlier than in the 2020 report. After 2033, it would be able to pay 76% of planned benefits with continued tax income.

The IA trust fund is expected to run out in 2057, eight years earlier than last year’s report, with 91% of benefits remaining payable thereafter.

Medicare trust funds are maintained

A separate report from Medicare administrators found that the trust fund that helps cover about 61.2 million Medicare Part A beneficiaries would be cash-strapped in 2026, the same date predicted by last year’s report. Medicare’s Part A Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, which pays hospital costs, is still expected to be able to pay 91% of its planned benefits if its trust fund runs out of money in 2026.

“Lawmakers have many policy options that would reduce or eliminate long-term funding gaps for Social Security and Medicare,” the administrators wrote in their 2021 report released on August 31. “Lawmakers should address these financial challenges as soon as possible. Acting as early as possible will allow for a wider range of solutions to be considered and allow more time to gradually introduce changes so that the public has enough time to prepare.

The Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund for Medicare Part B, which pays for medical and outpatient services, and Part D, which covers prescription drug benefits, is solvent indefinitely, with funding from revenue general and beneficiary bonuses.

“The solvency of Medicare trust funds is an extremely important and long-standing issue, and we are committed to working with Congress to continue to build a vibrant, equitable and sustainable Medicare program,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

]]> 0 Congo arrests former health minister for lack of COVID funds Sat, 28 Aug 2021 07:38:54 +0000

Former Democratic Republic of Congo Minister of Health Eteni Longondo was remanded in custody on Friday for alleged embezzlement of funds allocated to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, prison and government sources said.

“The former Minister of Public Health, Dr Eteni Longondo, was questioned at length by the prosecutor at the Court of Cassation and placed under a provisional arrest warrant this evening. I do not know if he is already in prison” a member of the government told AFP, requesting anonymity “in the name of the separation of powers.

“Dr Eteni did indeed arrive here at Makala central prison on the basis of a provisional arrest warrant issued by the prosecution. We installed him in pavilion 8”, told AFP a prison officer on condition of anonymity.

The transfer to the prison took place in the early evening, according to several sources contacted by AFP. Mr. Eteni Longondo, Minister of Health from 2019 until last April, is accused of “embezzlement of public funds allocated to the response” against the Covid-19, wrote on Twitter the Association for Access to Justice (ACAJ).

In August 2020, the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) suspected former Minister Longondo of having embezzled more than $ 7 million intended for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic in the DRC, the management of which is characterized by “Lack of support expenditure documents” drawn up.

Mr. Longondo has always denied having embezzled this money, arguing that “these documents were being verified by his services” at the time of the audit. In November, he returned $ 721,900 to the public treasury, representing “the overpayment” and “the difference on the decontamination of the People’s Palace”, the seat of parliament, as well as a “double payment made by the Central Bank of the Congo “.

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi has made the fight against corruption one of the priorities of his mandate. Mr. Longondo is the first member of the presidential Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party to be arrested for embezzlement of public funds.

The former chief of staff of the Congolese leader, Vital Kamerhe, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for embezzling more than $ 50 million to build prefabricated houses for the army and the police.


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Come back to their senses? – Manila Bulletin Tue, 24 Aug 2021 16:02:00 +0000


Former vice-president Jejomar Binay

A senior government official has been quoted in media as defending the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) decision to ease quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila despite the alarming increase in the number of daily cases of COVID-19.

He said it was not for lack of funds for cash aid or “ayuda” as some sectors had claimed, although it was said – more jokingly but with a tone of truth – that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is practically the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) but without “ayuda”.

Under this more flexible quarantine classification, people are allowed to go to work in certain companies in order to keep the economy moving, even slowly. They are doing so even without adequate public transport more than a year after the pandemic was first reported, with their movements hampered by combat-ready police and grim-faced barangay staff.

It has been 17 months since we were detained, and our fellow Filipinos are still venturing out of their homes with the slightest health protection from their government against a virus that is still very present here and is once again unchecked. What they need to survive, they must earn, risking their lives and that of those close to them.

The reason given by this official for the decommissioning, as reported online, is to “balance” the health of the population and the economy.

Equilibrium, to my knowledge, is a state of uniform distribution, where the elements or factors are in precise proportion or symmetry. For most medical experts and observers, however, the IATF’s decision tilts in favor of the economy. Members of the task force chose between “lives and livelihoods,” one of the experts posted on Twitter. From a health management perspective, it is difficult to justify easing restrictions as cases continue to rise daily, hospitals are back to full capacity and more children are treated for COVID- 19. The projections of the usually cautious Department of Health (DOH) are surprisingly bleak. The DOH said that at its current rate, the number of active cases could exceed 200,000 by the end of September.

According to some observers, what triggered the downgrade and divided the IATF over whether it had to resort to secret ballot was a scenario put forward by the DOH of a five-week extension of the ECQ to slow the spread. virus. This was totally unacceptable to the economic team and business groups across the country. And business groups have even publicly declared what was being said quietly in business circles: that lockdowns “are not the cure” for the pandemic.

And it seems that some IATF members have finally come to their senses. They seemingly question the practicality of the lockdowns and now want a new approach to tackling the pandemic.

The IATF does not need to commission a study or convene a virtual meeting of experts to identify new approaches. Experts and independent groups, including the World Bank, have drawn the government’s attention to the devastating effect on the economy of its predisposition to resort to lockdown. But the government chose to ignore them.

A World Bank official even blamed the country’s dire prospects for a rapid economic recovery on the closures. I wrote about this a few columns ago, and the words of said World Bank official must be repeated: “The Philippines has relied more on prolonged restrictions on mobility than on an effective test-based strategy. “

It’s a sad and damning commentary on the government’s mismanagement of the pandemic that a choice had to be made between saving lives or saving jobs, when both can be done.

And the government wouldn’t be in such a dilemma, on its own, if it had taken the right measures last year: strengthening our health system, improving mass testing and contact tracing, imposing checks. tighter borders and diverting government resources to provide financial and economic assistance to local workers and businesses.

Instead, he relied on oppressive lockdowns that hurt the economy, prioritized infrastructure projects that failed to generate needed jobs, and siphoned billions of precious public funds away from them. could have saved lives and the economy.

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Kenya: Gilgil Psychiatric Hospital to Receive Government Grant Mon, 23 Aug 2021 05:38:01 +0000

The fight against mental disorders in Nakuru County will receive a major boost, as Gilgil Mental Hospital is expected to receive a conditional grant from the national government.

This is good news for the growing population of mental health patients in the region. The grant will boost service delivery and tackle growing cases of mental disorder in the region. The facility serves the neighboring counties of Baringo, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Nyandarua, Samburu and Laikipia.

This grant will put the hospital on par with Nakuru level five hospital in terms of national government financial assistance.

“We are pushing the national government to consider raising the Gilgil Psychiatric Hospital and increasing its financial capacity by providing it with a conditional grant. The hospital performs screening and diagnosis of mental illnesses. It also offers psychiatric and counseling services to patients across the country. “said Dr Benedict Osore, responsible for administration and planning.

Mental Health

The official was speaking at a recent mental health workshop organized by Midrifthurinet, a non-profit organization.

He announced that the facility will also provide education and training facilities for psychiatry students at government medical training centers, public universities as well as private hospitals and universities.

“This is the second full-fledged psychiatric and mental health facility in the country after the Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital and it is only fair that we get a conditional grant from the government as it receives many patients outside of Nakuru, ”said Dr Osore. .