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UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

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  • UN Research Reveals $264bn Is Needed To End Maternal Deaths, Others

Recent research by the United Nations has revealed that countries need about $264 billion, the equivalent cost of 110 military aircraft, to end maternal deaths, gender-based violence, child marriage, and provide family planning to all women by 2030.

Giving a breakdown, researchers at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Kenya said an investment of $115.5 billion, which is equivalent to the cost of 46 high-end military aircraft, would end needless maternal deaths by 2030.

To end 12 million child marriage every year,  it would cost about $35 billion, according to the researchers who noted that $600 would be needed to save a girl from becoming a child bride – the equivalent cost of a one night in a luxury hotel.

Researchers said the $264 billion would be used for interventions like hiring medical staff, purchasing drugs, contraceptives and obstetric supplies, research, providing counselling and boost community outreach programmes.

Despite the commitments of countries toward three global goals related to women’s sexual and reproductive rights within the next 10 years, there was still a funding shortfall to meet these targets, according to report by the UN Population Fund.

UNFPA Executive Director, Natalia Kanem on Tuesday at the global conference said: “We now know how much and where we need to invest. These figures are a drop in the ocean compared to the dividend expected and the funds available.

“I believe it’s wrong to even refer to this as a cost. These are smart, affordable investments that will transform the lives of women and girls, their societies, and our world.

“The cost of inaction is much higher.”

One of the researchers, John Stover, director of Avenir Health said the cost was not any higher because many of the interventions to combat gender-based violence were the same required to reduce child marriage and female genital mutilation.

“Keeping girls in school and economic empowerment are key to all of these interventions. So in reality, it’s not very expensive – we have some idea how to do it, we just need the will power to go forward and do it,” Stover said.

What you should know: According to the UNFPA, more than 800 women die from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth every day, while more than 230 million women want to prevent pregnancy but are not using modern contraception.

UNFPA further revealed that one in three women globally has faced some form of physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, while harmful practices – such as child marriage – mean every day 33,000 girls are being forcefully wed.

About the conference: International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) is a three-day summit hosted by Kenya, which started on Tuesday.

It involves more than 6,000 participants ranging from heads of state to financial institution and civil society groups from 160 nations discussing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Travel

Aviation Minister Keyamo Takes Action Against Airport Begging and Extortion

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Festus Keyamo

In response to mounting complaints from the public regarding the pervasive issue of begging and extortion at Nigeria’s international airports, Aviation Minister Festus Keyamo has pledged swift action to address the problem.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), Keyamo acknowledged the widespread concern and clarified that while the agencies involved in these practices are stationed at airports, they do not fall under the direct control of the Ministry of Aviation.

Nevertheless, he assured the public that collaborative efforts with other ministries, government arms, and agencies responsible for airport security are underway to find a lasting solution.

“We are all working under the coordination of the National Security Adviser,” Keyamo stated, underscoring a recent meeting convened to address the issue comprehensively.

He expressed optimism that practical steps will soon be unveiled to curb what he described as an “ugly tide” affecting airport operations.

The minister extended gratitude to Nigerians for their vigilance and assured them of ongoing efforts to rectify the situation.

He said it is important to restore the integrity of Nigeria’s international airports, crucial gateways that leave lasting impressions on visitors and travelers alike.

Keyamo’s proactive stance comes amid growing public outcry over reported instances of harassment and exploitation by unauthorized individuals within airport premises.

The initiative reflects a broader commitment to enhancing security and efficiency across Nigeria’s aviation sector, aligning with efforts to promote transparency and accountability in public service.

As the government gears up to implement new measures, including enhanced oversight and enforcement protocols, stakeholders are hopeful that these initiatives will bring about tangible improvements in airport operations, ensuring a safer and more welcoming experience for all travelers.

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Saudi Arabia Reports Over 1,300 Hajj Fatalities Amid Extreme Heat

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Saudi Arabia has reported that more than 1,300 pilgrims died during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, with temperatures reaching the highest levels seen in two decades.

The Saudi Press Agency stated that the majority of these fatalities were unregistered pilgrims who lacked authorization to participate and undertook long journeys without adequate shelter. Many of the deceased were elderly and chronically ill.

This year’s Hajj, which concluded on June 18, saw temperatures soar to approximately 52°C (126°F), the highest recorded during the pilgrimage in 20 years, according to data from the Saudi National Center for Meteorology.

Over 1.8 million worshippers participated in the five-day event, which has historically faced challenges due to large crowds and extreme weather conditions.

The fatalities underscore the growing risks posed by rising global temperatures. Similar heat-related deaths have been reported in India, while wildfires have prompted evacuations in Greece.

Parts of the United States are also grappling with a heatwave, raising concerns that increasing temperatures may render parts of the Middle East uninhabitable in the future.

Saudi authorities had earlier warned about the “significant rise in temperatures, which poses a threat to the health of pilgrims.”

The health ministry urged pilgrims to use umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun. On one particularly hot day, over 2,700 cases of heat stroke were reported.

Most of the deceased pilgrims hailed from countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan, according to reports from Agence-France Presse, citing diplomats.

Historically, deaths at Hajj are not uncommon, occurring due to various reasons including stampedes and heat strokes. In 2015, a stampede led to hundreds of deaths.

A severe heat stroke incident in 1985, when the pilgrimage took place in August and temperatures reached 54°C, resulted in 1,012 deaths, according to the Annals of Saudi Medicine.

This year, the Saudi health ministry provided treatment to nearly half a million people, including 141,000 unauthorized pilgrims.

Medical services offered included open-heart surgeries, cardiac care, and air ambulance operations. Also, almost 6,500 beds and rooms were made available for those needing care.

Despite the tragic loss of life, the Saudi health minister praised the “successful execution of health management efforts” during this year’s Hajj season, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

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Sport Business

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Dominance Forces Ban from YouTube and TikTok

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Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Cristiano Ronaldo, the iconic Portuguese footballer known for breaking records on the field, is now facing an unusual restriction off the field as he cannot open official accounts on YouTube and TikTok.

Sources familiar with the situation reveal that the unprecedented ban stems from concerns over the extraordinary number of subscribers and views Ronaldo could attract, potentially overwhelming the platforms and disrupting their ecosystems.

Ronaldo’s immense popularity is well-documented. His presence on social media has always drawn millions of followers, and his videos consistently garner high engagement.

According to experts, allowing Ronaldo to create a YouTube channel could lead to unsustainable costs for both YouTube and other content creators on the platform.

For context, it took Mr. Beast, currently the YouTuber with the most subscribers, about 13 years to amass 200 million subscribers. Projections indicate that Ronaldo could reach this milestone in less than three years, thanks to his global fanbase and widespread appeal.

This rapid growth could strain YouTube’s infrastructure and financial resources to manage such an influx.

In 2023, Ronaldo briefly opened an official TikTok account. Within a single day, his account skyrocketed to 4 million followers and received 10 million likes, earning verification almost instantly.

The overwhelming response caused significant disruptions on TikTok, prompting the platform to ban his account and suggesting that TikTok could not handle the financial and operational challenges posed by Ronaldo’s massive viewership.

He already has more than 630 million followers on Instagram and 111.7M Followers on X.com.

The decision to prohibit Ronaldo from these platforms highlights the unique challenges posed by mega-celebrities in the digital age.

While their presence can bring enormous traffic and engagement, it also poses significant logistical and financial challenges for social media companies.

Ronaldo’s situation revealed the delicate balance platforms must maintain between leveraging star power for growth and ensuring sustainable operations for all users.

As social media continues to evolve, this case may prompt platforms to rethink how they manage the accounts of exceptionally influential figures.

In the meantime, Ronaldo remains active on other social media channels, where he continues to connect with his fans and share glimpses of his life and career. Despite the bans, his influence and popularity show no signs of waning, reaffirming his status as one of the most celebrated athletes in the world.

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