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World Bank Lends Philippines $500m To Counter Virus Impact

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World Bank: COVID-19 Reversed Africa’s Growth

The World Bank Group has said on Friday it has approved a $500m loan for the Philippines to help it cope with the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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The country’s Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a statement the loan will support efforts to provide immediate relief to poor Filipinos and small business workers who have lost their jobs during the lockdown.

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In one of the world’s toughest and longest lockdowns for residents which started since mid-March, the Philippine government will begin easing restrictions from June 1 in the capital and other key cities, restoring much-needed activity to an economy facing its deepest contraction in nearly three decades.

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World News

21 Killed, Dozens Missing After Typhoon Molave Lashes Vietnam

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21 Killed, Dozens Missing After Typhoon Molave Lashes Vietnam

Typhoon Molave, the fourth storm to hit Vietnam in a month, has damaged some fifty-six thousand homes and left millions without electricity.  Molave is one of the strongest typhoons to hit the region in decades.

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Twenty-one persons have been confirmed killed and dozens more missing on Thursday after the typhoon tore through central Vietnam on Tuesday, triggering landslides in the central province of Quang Nam and causing some of the worst devastation seen in years.

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International federation of the red cross says since early October, Vietnam has been batterred by storms, heavy rains and floods which have left at least one hundred thirty persons dead.

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France Imposes Four-Week National Lockdown To Combat Coronavirus

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France Imposes Four-Week National Lockdown To Combat Coronavirus

French president, Emmanuel Macron has announced a second national lockdown to last till the end of next month.  The new measures would allow residents to only leave home for essential work or for medical reasons.

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Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars, will close, but schools and factories will remain open.  Thirty-three thousand new cases of the virus were confirmed on Tuesday.

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Macron says the country risks a resurgence of the virus that may hit harder this time.

Meanwhile, Germany is also ready to impose a less severe emergency lockdown.  Restaurants, gyms and theaters will be closed.

READ:  Coronavirus: Nigeria Records 216 New Cases

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US Opposes Okonjo-Iweala’s WTO Appointment 

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US Opposes Okonjo-Iweala's WTO Appointment 

The United States is trying to throw a monkey-wrench in the appointment of Nigeria’s former two-time finance minister as the first African director-general of the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. has been at odds with the WTO on how it handles global trade.  It had thrown its support behind South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-Hee whom the U.S. believes could bring reforms to the organization.  The U.S. says it wants the WTO led by someone with real hand-on experience in the field.

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This does not mean Okonjo-Iweala would not become the organization’s boss.  WTO’s spokesman, Keith Rockwell said on Wednesday just one country, the U.S., did not support Okonjo-Iweala, but she has the backing of all 27 European Union countries.

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Unlike the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, appointments like this for the WTO require the votes of each of the one hundred sixty-four member countries.  A majority of those votes would get her through.

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