Abdi Latif Dahir in Nairobi, Emily Schmall in New Delhi, Skandha Gunasekara in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Salman Masood in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed reporting. Li You and Ana Lankes contributed research.

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A Strong Dollar Is Wreaking Havoc on Emerging Markets. A Debt Crisis Could Be Next.

The average household in Ghana is paying two-thirds more than it did last year for diesel, flour and other necessities. In Egypt, wheat is so expensive that the government has fallen half a billion dollars short of its budget for a bread subsidy it provides to its citizens. And Sri Lanka, already struggling to control a political crisis, is running out of fuel, food and medical supplies.

A strong dollar is making the problems worse.

Compared with other currencies, the U.S. dollar is the strongest it has been in two decades. It is rising because the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates sharply to combat inflation and because America’s economic health is better than most. Together, these factors have attracted investors from all over the world. Sometimes they simply buy dollars, but even if investors buy other assets, like government bonds, they need dollars to do so — in each case pushing up the currency’s value.

That strength has become much of the world’s weakness. The dollar is the de facto currency for global trade, and its steep rise is squeezing dozens of lower-income nations, chiefly those that rely heavily on imports of food and oil and borrow in dollars to fund them.

But much of the damage is already behind us.

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  • “We are in a fragile situation,” Mr. El-Erian said. “Country after country is flashing amber, and some are already flashing red.”

    Many lower-income countries were already struggling during the pandemic.

    Roughly 22 million people in Ghana, or a third of its population, reported a decline in their income between April 2020 and May 2021, according to a survey from the World Bank and Unicef. Adults in almost half of the households with children surveyed said they were skipping a meal because they didn’t have enough money. Almost three-quarters said the prices of major food items had increased.

    Then came Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war between two of the world’s largest exporters of food and energy led to a big surge in prices, especially for importers like Ghana. Consumer prices have gone up 30 percent for the year through June, according to data from the research firm Moody’s Analytics. For household essentials, annual inflation has reached 60 percent or more this year, the S&P data shows.

    To illustrate this, consider the price of a barrel of oil in dollars versus the Ghanaian cedi. At the beginning of October last year, the price of oil stood at $78.52 per barrel, rising to nearly $130 per barrel in March before falling back to $87.96 at the beginning of this month, a one-year increase of 12 percent in dollar terms. Over the same period, the Ghanaian cedi has weakened over 40 percent against the dollar, meaning that the same barrel of oil that cost roughly 475 cedi a year ago now costs over 900 cedi, almost twice as much.

    Adding to the problem are large state-funded subsidies, some taken on or increased through the pandemic, that are now weighing on government finances.

    Ghana’s president cut fuel taxes in November 2021, losing roughly $22 million in projected revenue for the government — the latest available numbers.

    In Egypt, spending on what the government refers to as “supply commodities,” almost all of which is wheat for its long-running bread subsidy, is expected to come in at around 7 percent of all government spending this year, 12 percent higher — or more than half a billion dollars — than the government budgeted.

    As costs ballooned throughout the pandemic, governments took on more debt. Ghana’s public debt grew to nearly $60 billion from roughly $40 billion at the end of 2019, or to nearly 80 percent of its gross domestic product from around 63 percent, according to Moody’s.

    It’s one of four countries listed by S&P, alongside Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka, where interest payments alone account for more than half of the government’s revenues.

    “We can’t forget that this is happening on the back end of a once-in-a-century pandemic in which governments, to try and support families as best they could, did borrow more,” said Frank Gill, an analyst at S&P. “This is a shock following up on another shock.”

    In May, Sri Lanka defaulted on its government debt for the first time in its history. Over the past month, the governments of Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana have all reached out to the International Monetary Fund for a bailout as they struggle to meet their debt financing needs, no longer able to turn to international investors for more money.

    “I don’t think there is a lot of appetite to lend money to some of these countries,” said Brian Weinstein, co-head of credit trading at Bank of America. “They are incredibly vulnerable at the moment.”

    That vulnerability is already reflected in the bond market.

    In 2016, Ghana borrowed $1 billion for 10 years, paying an interest rate of just over 8 percent. As the country’s financial position has worsened and investors have backed away, the yield — indicative of what it would now cost Ghana to borrow money until 2026 — has risen to above 35 percent.

    It’s an untenable cost of debt for a country in Ghana’s situation. And Ghana is not alone. For bonds that also mature in 2026, yields for Pakistan have reached almost 40 percent.

    “We have concerns where any country has yields that calls into question their ability to refinance in public markets,” said Charles Cohen, deputy division chief of monetary and capital market departments at IMF.

    The risk of a sovereign debt crisis in some emerging markets is “very, very high,” said Jesse Rogers, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. Mr. Rogers likened the current situation to the debt crises that crushed Latin America in the 1980s — the last time the Fed sought to quell soaring inflation.

    Already this year, more than $80 billion has been withdrawn from mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — two popular types of investment products — that buy emerging market bonds, according to EPFR Global, a data provider. As investors sell, the United States is often the beneficiary, further strengthening the dollar.

    “It’s by far the worst year for outflows the market has ever seen,” said Pramol Dhawan, head of emerging markets at Pimco.

    Even citizens in some of these countries are trying to exchange their money for dollars, fearful of what’s to come and of further currency depreciation — yet inadvertently also contributing to it.

    “For pockets of emerging markets, this is a really challenging backdrop and one of the most challenging backdrops we have faced for many years,” Mr. Dhawan said.

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    Russian President Putin Vows To Press Attack On Ukraine

    By Associated Press

    and Newsy Staff
    September 16, 2022

    At a summit in Uzbekistan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the “liberation” of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region remains the main military goal.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to press his attack on Ukraine despite its latest counteroffensive and warned that Moscow could ramp up its strikes if Ukrainian forces target power plants and other infrastructure in Russia.

    Speaking to reporters Friday after attending a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Uzbekistan, Putin said the “liberation” of Ukraine’s entire eastern Donbas region remained Russia’s main military goal and that he sees no need to revise it.

    “We aren’t in a rush,” the Russian leader said, adding that Russia has only deployed volunteer soldiers to fight in Ukraine.

    Russia was forced to pull back its forces from large swaths of northeastern Ukraine last week after a swift Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukraine’s move to reclaim control of several Russian-occupied cities and villages marked the largest military setback for Moscow since its forces had to retreat from areas near the capital early in the war.

    Asked about the Ukrainian counteroffensive, Putin replied: “Let’s see how it develops and how it ends.”

    He alleged that Ukraine has attempted to launch attacks “near our nuclear facilities, nuclear power plants” in Russia and vowed to do “everything to prevent any negative turn of events.”

    “We will retaliate if they fail to understand that such methods are unacceptable, they don’t differ from terrorism,” Putin said.

    Putin also sought Friday to assuage India’s concern about the conflict in Ukraine, telling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Moscow wants to see a quick end to the fighting and alleging Ukrainian officials won’t negotiate.

    “I know your stand on the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns that you have repeatedly voiced,” the Russian leader told Modi. “We will do all we can to end that as quickly as possible. Regrettably, the other side, the leadership of Ukraine, has rejected the negotiations process and stated that it wants to achieve its goals by military means, on the battlefield.”

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said it is Russia that allegedly doesn’t want to negotiate in earnest. He also has insisted on the withdrawal of Russian troops from occupied areas of Ukraine as a precondition for talks.

    Putin’s remarks during the talks with Modi echoed similar comments he made during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping the previous day.

    China and India have refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine while increasing their purchases of Russian oil and gas, helping Moscow offset the financial restrictions imposed by the U.S. and its allies.

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was formed by Russia and China as a counterweight to U.S. influence. The group also includes India, Pakistan and four ex-Soviet Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran is on track to receive full membership.

    On Thursday, Putin held a one-on-one meeting with Xi and thanked the Chinese leader for his government’s “balanced position” on the Ukraine war, while adding that he was ready to discuss unspecified China’s “concerns” about Ukraine.

    Xi, in a statement released by his government, expressed support for Russia’s “core interests” but also interest in working together to “inject stability” into world affairs.

    Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    Iran to join Asian security body led by Russia, China

    Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev meets Iran’s counterpart Ebrahim Raisi ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan September 14, 2022. Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan/Handout via REUTERS

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    DUBAI, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Iran has moved a step closer towards becoming a permanent member of a central Asian security body dominated by Russia and China, as Tehran seeks to overcome economic isolation imposed by U.S. sanctions.

    Foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Thursday said Iran had signed a memorandum of obligations to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which is holding a summit this week in Uzbekistan.

    The body, formed in the 2001 as a talking shop for Russia, China and ex-Soviet states in Central Asia, expanded four years ago to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role as counterweight to Western influence in the region.

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    “By signing the document for full membership of the SCO, now Iran has entered a new stage of various economic, commercial, transit and energy cooperation,” Hossein Amirabdollahian wrote on his Instagram page.

    Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi was in the Silk Road oasis of Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday to attend the summit. He held a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian state TV reported.

    Last year, the central Asian security body approved Iran’s application for accession, while Tehran’s hardline rulers called on members to help it form a mechanism to avert sanctions imposed by the West over its disputed nuclear programme.

    Iran will now be able to take part in the body’s meetings, although it is likely to take some time to achieve full membership, deputy secretary-general of the organisation Grigory Logvinov told Russian state TV, which also reported the signing.

    Iran’s economy has been hit hard since 2018, when then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, including Russia and China.

    Months of indirect talks between Iran and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration have hit a dead end over several obstacles to reviving the nuclear pact, under which Tehran agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.

    The U.S. sanctions and growing concerns about an emerging, U.S.-backed Gulf Arab-Israeli bloc that could shift the Middle East balance of power further away from Tehran have prompted Iran’s clerical rulers to pursue closer economic and strategic ties with Russia, itself hit with sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine.

    “Iran is determined to boost its ties with Russia, from economic to aerospace and political fields,” Raisi said during his meeting with Putin, according to Iranian state media.

    “The cooperation between Tehran and Moscow can significantly neutralise the limitations imposed on our countries by the U.S. sanctions,” he said.

    In July, just days after Biden visited Israel and Saudi Arabia, Putin visited Tehran in his first trip outside the former Soviet Union since the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.

    Putin said on Thursday that a delegation of 80 large companies will visit Iran next week, Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported, in another sign of the growing ties with Iran. read more

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    Reporting by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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    IAEA board passes resolution calling on Russia to leave Zaporizhzhia

    A Russian all-terrain armoured vehicle is parked outside the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during the visit of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, September 1, 2022. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko/

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    • Second resolution on Ukraine since war started
    • First was in March before Russia seized power plant
    • Twenty-six of 35 board members backed the text
    • Russia and China only countries to oppose it

    VIENNA, Sept 15 (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog’s 35-nation Board of Governors on Thursday passed a resolution demanding that Russia end its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

    The resolution is the second on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board, and their content is very similar, though the first in March preceded Russian forces taking control of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant. read more

    Both resolutions were proposed by Canada and Poland on behalf of Ukraine, which is not on the board, the IAEA’s top policy-making body that meets more than once a year.

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    The text, which says the board calls on Russia to “immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine”, was passed with 26 votes in favour, two against and seven abstentions, diplomats at the closed-door meeting said. read more

    The text was later posted on the IAEA’s website.

    Russia and China were the countries that voted against while Egypt, South Africa, Senegal, Burundi, Vietnam, India and Pakistan abstained, the diplomats said.

    The board “deplores the Russian Federation’s persistent violent actions against nuclear facilities in Ukraine, including forcefully seizing of control of nuclear facilities,” the resolution’s text reads.

    Russia seized radioactive waste facilities in Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986, at the start of the war but later withdrew.

    Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant in southern Ukraine.

    Russia’s mission to the IAEA called the text anti-Russian and said “the Achilles’ heel of this resolution” was that it said nothing about the “systematic shelling” of the plant.

    “The reason is simple – this shelling is carried out by Ukraine, which is supported and shielded by Western countries in every possible way,” it said in a statement.

    The resolution adds that Russia’s occupation of the plant significantly increases the risk of a nuclear accident. Ukrainian staff continue to operate the plant in conditions that the IAEA has described as endangering the site’s safety.

    “This Board took up the issue in March and adopted a resolution that deplored Russia’s violent actions and called upon Russia to immediately cease all actions against and at nuclear facilities in Ukraine and return control of them to the competent Ukrainian authorities,” the U.S. statement to the board said.

    “The very next day, Russia spurned that call by seizing the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. Russia is treating Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure as a military prize, seeking to deprive Ukraine of control over its own energy resources and to use the plant as a base for military action against Ukraine,” it added.

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    Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool

    Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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    Putin Alludes to China’s ‘Concerns’ Over Ukraine War

    Credit…Pool photo by Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik

    President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Thursday that Moscow understood that China had “questions and concerns” about the war in Ukraine — a notable, if cryptic, admission from Mr. Putin that Beijing may not fully approve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    He made the remark as he met with Xi Jinping, China’s top leader, in Uzbekistan. China has staked out a neutral position on the invasion publicly, even as it has echoed the Kremlin’s rhetoric about Russia’s being treated unfairly by the West and as China’s propaganda apparatus has parroted Russian disinformation about Western bioweapons.

    The summit, meant to signal the strength of the relationship between the two authoritarian leaders at a time of increasing animosity with the West and challenges to their agendas, is particularly important to Mr. Putin, who has become more isolated by the United States and its allies over his invasion of Ukraine. Russia has also faced a spate of recent losses on the battlefield.

    “We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis,” Mr. Putin said in televised remarks at the start of the meeting. “We understand your questions and concerns in this regard. During today’s meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before.”

    After the meeting, China released a statement saying that “China is ready to work with Russia in extending strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” It said that “in the face of changes in the world, times, and history, China is willing to work with Russia to demonstrate the responsibility of a major country, play a leading role, and inject stability into a turbulent world.”

    The transcript did not have any comment from Mr. Xi regarding Ukraine or the threat posed by NATO. Mr. Putin, by contrast, railed against the “unipolar,” American-led world order that he sees Beijing and Moscow aligned against.

    “We jointly stand for the formation of a just, democratic and multipolar world order based on international law and the central role of the U.N., and not on some rules that someone has come up with and is trying to impose on others, without even explaining what it’s about,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Xi. “In general, I must say that the attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly shape and are absolutely unacceptable for the vast majority of states on the planet.”

    One of the core principles of Chinese foreign policy, repeated again in official statements from Mr. Xi’s meetings this week with Central Asian heads of state, is that countries should not intervene in others’ internal affairs and should respect one another’s borders.

    Mr. Xi, who is under pressure as China’s zero-Covid policy hurts the economy, needs to project power in the weeks before a meeting of the country’s Communist Party leadership.

    The two held talks on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a multilateral, security-focused organization that includes China, Russia, India, Pakistan and four Central Asian nations.

    Chinese support is important to Russia. China bought record levels of Russian oil in May, June and July. But Beijing has been careful to avoid violating sanctions on Russia that could lead to it being punished as well.

    Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi last met in February, before the start of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. In a 5,300-word statement, they declared a friendship with “no limits” and criticized the influence of the United States in their regions.

    For Mr. Xi, the meeting is also a chance to resume his role as a global statesman.

    As he tries to build up a regional power base, Mr. Xi went to Kazakhstan on Wednesday for a brief stop at the start of his trip before heading to Uzbekistan in the evening. Mr. Xi used a 2013 trip to the country to announce a vast international investment and development program that became known as the Belt and Road Initiative.

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    Xi, Putin Hold Summit In Uzbekistan As Ukraine War Dominates

    By Associated Press

    and Newsy Staff
    September 15, 2022

    Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi were due to meet one-on-one to discuss the war in Ukraine, according to one presidential adviser.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and leaders from India and Central Asia gathered Thursday in Uzbekistan for a summit of a security group formed by Beijing and Moscow as a counterweight to U.S. influence.

    The meeting Friday of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization is overshadowed by Putin’s attack on Ukraine and strains in China’s relations with Washington, Europe, Japan and India due to disputes over technology, security and territory.

    The event in the ancient sultanate of Samarkand is part of Xi’s first foreign trip since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic 2 1/2 years ago, underscoring Beijing’s desire to assert itself as a regional power.

    Putin and Xi were due to meet one-on-one and discuss Ukraine, according to the Russian president’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov.

    Xi’s government, which said it had a “no limits” friendship with Moscow before the invasion, has refused to criticize the attack. Beijing and India are buying more Russian oil and gas, which helps Moscow offset the impact of Western sanctions.

    China “states explicitly that it understands the reasons that forced Russia to launch a special military operation,” Ushakov said Thursday, according to the Russian news agency ITAR-Tass.

    Putin planned to meet Friday with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ITAR-Tass said, citing Ushakov.

    There was no indication whether Modi might meet Xi. Chinese-Indian relations are strained due to clashes between soldiers from the two sides in a dispute over a border in a remote area of the Himalayas.

    Other SCO governments include Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

    The meeting planned to consider an application by Iran, an observer of the group, to become a full member, according to ITAR-Tass.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, which has the status of “dialogue partner,” was also in attendance.

    Putin and Erdogan planned on Friday to “evaluate the effectiveness” of a deal under which wheat exports from Ukraine via the Black Sea resumed, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, according to ITAR-Tass.

    The Chinese leader is promoting a “Global Security Initiative” announced in April following the formation of the Quad by Washington, Japan, Australia and India in response to Beijing’s more assertive foreign policy. Xi has given few details, but U.S. officials complain it echoes Russian arguments in support of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.

    The region is part of China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to expand trade by building ports, railways and other infrastructure across an arc of dozens of countries from the South Pacific through Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

    On Thursday, Xi met with President Sadyr Zhaparov of Kyrgyzstan and said Beijing supports the “early operation” of a planned railway linking China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the Chinese foreign ministry said.

    China’s economic inroads into Central Asia have fueled unease in Russia, which sees the region as its sphere of influence.

    Xi made a one-day visit Wednesday to Kazakhstan en route to Uzbekistan. Pope Francis was in Kazakhstan, but they didn’t meet.

    Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    U.N. Chief Asks World For ‘Massive’ Help In Flooded Pakistan

    By Associated Press
    September 9, 2022

    Months of heavy monsoon rains and flooding have killed nearly 1,400 people in Pakistan and left half a million others homeless.

    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that the world owes impoverished Pakistan “massive” help in recovering from the summer’s devastating floods because the country bears less blame than many other nations for climate change, which experts say contributed to the deluge.

    Months of heavy monsoon rains and flooding have killed 1,391 people and affected 3.3 million in this South Asian nation while half a million people have become homeless. Planeloads of aid from the United States, the United Arab Emirates and other countries have begun arriving, but Guterres said there’s more to be done.

    Nature, the U.N. chief said in Islamabad, has attacked Pakistan, which contributes less than 1% of global emissions, according to multiple experts.

    Nations that “are more responsible for climate change … should have faced this challenge,” said Guterres, sitting next to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

    “We are heading into a disaster,” Guterres added. “We have waged war on nature and nature is tracking back and striking back in a devastating way. Today in Pakistan, tomorrow in any of your countries.”

    The U.N. chief’s trip comes less than two weeks after Guterres appealed for $160 million in emergency funding to help those affected by the monsoon rains and floods that Pakistan says have caused at least $10 billion in damages.

    “I appeal for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe,” Guterres tweeted after landing in Pakistan earlier Friday.

    He said other nations contributing to climate change are obligated to reduce emissions and help Pakistan. He assured Sharif that his voice was “entirely at the service of the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people” and that “the entire U.N. system is at the service of Pakistan.”

    “Pakistan has not contributed in a meaningful way to climate change, the level of emissions in this country is relatively low,” Guterres said. “But Pakistan is one of the most dramatically impacted countries by climate change.”

    On Friday, the first planeload arrived from the U.S. , which Washington says is part of an upcoming $30 million in assistance. More U.S. military planes are expected to arrive in the coming days as part of a humanitarian bridge set up by Washington to deliver much-need aid across the country.

    USAID announced an additional $20 million Friday in humanitarian assistance for Pakistan, further enhancing U.S. pledges.

    Later, Guterres directed his words at the international community, saying that by some estimates, Pakistan needs about $30 billion to recover from the floods.

    So far, U.N. agencies and several countries have sent nearly 60 planeloads of aid, and authorities say the UAE has been one of the most generous contributors and sent so far 26 flights carrying aid for flood victims.

    The U.N. heritage agency on Thursday announced it would send $350,000 to help recover flood-damaged cultural heritage sites.

    Since June, heavy rains and floods have added new burdens to cash-strapped Pakistan and highlighted the disproportionate effect of climate change on impoverished populations. Experts say Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions that are blamed for climate change. The U.S. is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the European Union for 15%.

    The floods in Pakistan have also injured 12,722 people, destroyed thousands of miles of roads, toppled bridges and damaged schools and hospitals, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

    Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    China, Japan Ground Ferries, Flights As Typhoon Approaches

    By Associated Press
    September 4, 2022

    Typhoon Hinnamnor is forecasted to move gradually northward into the East China Sea with maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 miles per hour.

    Cities in eastern China suspended ferry services and classes and flights were canceled in Japan on Sunday as Typhoon Hinnamnor, the strongest global storm this year, blew its way past Taiwan and the Koreas with fierce winds and heavy rains.

    Shanghai grounded ferry services and deployed more than 50,000 police officers to aid with rescues and guide traffic away from danger areas. The eastern business hub of Wenzhou ordered all classes suspended on Monday.

    Hinnamnor is forecasted to move gradually northward into the East China Sea with maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 miles per hour, according to the Hong Kong Observatory.

    Evacuations and flight cancellations have been ordered in Japan’s southern Okinawa Island. The typhoon is also expected to bring intense rainfall to the Korean Peninsula, bringing the possibility of flooding.

    China’s National Meteorological Center issued a yellow typhoon warning at 10 a.m. Sunday, and warned of heavy rains in northeastern Zhejiang, Shanghai and self-governing Taiwan.

    Ships were told to return to port to take shelter from the wind, and the center also urged people against large gatherings both indoors and outdoors.

    In Japan, the typhoon lashed Okinawa and nearby islands with heavy rain and fierce winds, threatening flooding and grounding more than 100 flights connecting the islands and parts of the main southern island of Kyushu.

    Footage on Japan’s NHK national television showed trees violently shaken by the storm, with fierce rainfall hitting the pavement. A greenhouse for mangoes on Ishigaki Island was knocked down. On the main Okinawa island, two elderly people fell down and were slightly injured, according to media reports.

    Officials said the slow-moving typhoon could add to rainfall and risks of flooding in the southern region where dense rain clouds have been stuck.

    In Taiwan, over 600 residents in New Taipei, Taoyuan and Hsinchu counties were evacuated to shelters on Saturday amid the heavy rain and strong winds, according to the island’s Central News Agency.The typhoon caused a landslide in Miaoli county and blew over some 100 roadside trees. About 40 flights and more than 100 ferry services across Taiwan were also canceled Saturday.

    Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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    In Pakistan, Fears Of Waterborne Diseases As Floods Recede

    Doctors say they’re treating people suffering from diarrhea, skin infections and other waterborne ailments in the country’s flood-hit areas.

    Officials in Pakistan raised concern Wednesday over the spread of waterborne diseases among thousands of flood victims as waters from powerful monsoon rains began to recede in many parts of the country.

    Some doctors said initially they were seeing mostly patients traumatized by the flooding, but are now treating people suffering from diarrhea, skin infections and other waterborne ailments in the country’s flood-hit areas.

    The development has forced the government to deploy additional medical teams, dispatch medicine and provide clean drinking water to survivors, many of whom are living in tents and makeshift homes.

    The warning came a day after record-breaking floods prompted the United Nations to formally issue an appeal for $160 million in emergency funding to the impoverished Islamic nation, where about a million homes have been damaged or destroyed.

    Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, health minister in the country’s worst-affected province of Sindh, said officials have set up 4,210 medical camps in the province’s flood-hit areas to treat victims now suffering from skin and waterborne diseases, which are common during floods.

    The World Health Organization began aiding Pakistani authorities in their efforts to treat people injured in the rains and flooding. The agency said in a statement it was working to increase surveillance for acute diarrhea, cholera and other communicable diseases to avoid their spreading further, and is also providing medicine and medical supplies to health facilities.

    “WHO is working with health authorities to respond quickly and effectively on the ground,” said Dr. Palitha Mahipala, the WHO representative in Pakistan. “Our key priorities now are to ensure rapid access to essential health services to the flood-affected population, (to) strengthen and expand disease surveillance, outbreak prevention and control, and ensure robust health cluster coordination.”

    Authorities said waterborne diseases among flood victims are now common across the country.

    “Initially we received injured people, but now diarrhea is common,” said Farhad Khan, a physician in charge of a medical camp set up in the northwestern town of Charsadda. It is one of the worst flood-hit districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, where floods killed 257 people since mid-June.

    Pakistani authorities backed by the military, rescuers and volunteers, have struggled to evacuate marooned people to safer places. On Wednesday, military helicopters continued evacuating flood victims and delivering food to remote regions, according to a statement released by the military. It said it has deployed at least 6,500 troops to assist in rescue and relief operations.

    Rescuers were also using boats to evacuate stranded people in southern Sindh province and in remote villages in eastern Punjab province. Floods in the past 24 hours damaged about 70,000 more homes in the country’s northwest and southern Sindh province, according to National Disaster Management Authority.

    Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a visit to the flood-hit Swat Valley promised the rehabilitation of every person displaced by the flood. In his televised comments, Shahbaz thanked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for responding to Pakistan’s request and issuing an appeal for $160 million in emergency funding to help flood victims. Guterres on Tuesday urged the world: “Let’s stop sleepwalking toward the destruction of our planet by climate change.”

    Sharif’s visit comes days after a raging Swat River destroyed the iconic New Honeymoon Hotel in the northwestern tourist resort of Kalam. There were no casualties as tourists and staff left the hotel following government evacuation instructions, and residents in Kalam said many streets there were still flooded.

    Pakistan says it has received aid from some countries and others were dispatching aid, too. According to initial government estimates, the devastation caused $10 billion in damage to the economy.

    Kamran Bangash, a government spokesman in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said with evacuations wrapping up, officials are now focused on providing food and clean drinking water to flood victims.

    “We fear the outbreak of the waterborne disease in flood-hit areas,” he told The Associated Press. He said hundreds of people have contracted such illnesses in various parts of the province.

    “In recent weeks floodwater badly affected hundreds of thousands of people. We don’t want them to again suffer; this time due to non-availability of clean water and it can be avoided,” Bangash said.

    Although the rains stopped three days ago, large swaths of the country remain under water, and the main rivers, the Indus and the Swat, are still swollen. The National Disaster Management Authority has warned emergency services to be on maximum alert, saying flood waters over the next 24 hours could cause further damage.

    Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

    Source: newsy.com

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