WEF report warns of Covid inequalities fueling social tensions

Protesters hold up a banner reading “Covid slave ticket” as they protest against the mandatory vaccination campaign against SARSCoV2, Belgium.

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images

New research by the organizers of the annual meeting in Davos in the Swiss Alps warn of inequalities due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that could spark domestic and cross-border tensions around the world.

This year’s Global Risks Report from the World Economic Forum describes a “global divergence” – where poorer countries have much lower Covid-19 vaccination rates and therefore have longer-lasting economic problems.

“Covid-19 and its economic and societal consequences continue to pose a critical threat to the world. Vaccine inequality and the resulting uneven economic recovery risk exacerbating social rifts and geopolitical tensions,” the report said on Tuesday.

“The resulting global divergence will create tensions – within and across borders – that could exacerbate the cascading effects of the pandemic and complicate the coordination needed to address common challenges.”

Aside from the catastrophic death toll, one of the most immediate effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been the resulting increase in inequality, many economists said. They found that many people have faced job insecurity or were unable to attend online training due to bans.

Richer countries used to have access to Covid-19 vaccines and many are already giving their citizens their third or even fourth dose of the vaccine. Meanwhile, poorer countries are struggling to get their populations even a first dose.

In Ethiopia, only 1.3% of people are fully vaccinated against Covid. In Nigeria it is 2.1% according to Our World in Data. By comparison, 62% of Americans in the US are fully vaccinated. In the United Arab Emirates and Portugal, that number is around 90%.

“There are big worries about existential crises – that’s actually number two on this list, so big worries about jobs and what’s going on in the labor market,” said Saadia Zahidi, Executive Director of the World Economic Forum, about the result of the Global Risk Report.

Speaking to CNBC’s Julianna Tatelbaum, she added, ‚ÄúThere is this concern about mental crisis and it is eroding social cohesion. For example, there are 53 million new cases of depression, particularly due to Covid. “

Dark prospects

In the report, nearly 1,000 global experts and leaders from academia, business, civil society, government and other organizations said that societal risks “have deteriorated the most since the pandemic began.”

These specific risks included social cohesion and deterioration in mental health.

In addition, only 16% of respondents said they were positive and optimistic about the outlook for the world. In addition, only 11% said they believe the global recovery will accelerate.

The International Monetary Fund already estimated a global growth rate of 5.9% for 2021 and 4.9% for 2022. These projections were made before concerns about a new variant of Covid-19 known as Omicron arose.

Since then, the IMF has admitted that these numbers could be revised downwards because of new restrictions. However, the institution has stated that vaccinations will remain crucial to boost economic performance around the world.

“We screamed from the top of a mountain that [the] Pandemic is the greatest risk to the global economy. And we worked very hard to vaccinate the world. Progress is being made, not enough, “IMF executive director Kristalina Georgieva told CNBC in December.

Suburban cash fueling Cleveland mayoral race

CLEVELAND, Ohio – More than half of all the dollars poured into high-profile mayoral candidates during the past reporting period came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, not from Cleveland.

That figure comes from an analysis of campaign funding data submitted for the most recent July-December reporting period by five of the top contenders exploring a run or entering the race to succeed Mayor Frank Jackson – which wasn’t ruled out one Run for a fifth term.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley, Councilor Blaine Griffin, former Mayor Dennis Kucinich, and hopeful 2017 Mayor Zack Reed received much of their donations from outside Cleveland, most of them from well-known suburbs like Shaker Heights or Lakewood. Nonprofit manager Justin Bibb, the only candidate to officially declare a run, was the only candidate to report the majority of his donations from the city, though he also received the highest percentage of his donations from abroad.

Another, Cleveland City Councilor Basheer Jones, did not disclose his donors.

The money in the suburbs gave Kelley a massive cash advantage over his potential rivals. Kelley, who has not officially announced, has more than $ 500,000 in his coffers, with Bibb being the closest at around $ 160,000.

That included raising more than $ 217,000, most of it through a November 19 fundraiser that saw Kelley raise $ 208,150. Most of Kelley’s donations came from unions, corporations and actors in the Northeast Ohio political scene – for example, $ 10,000 from the influential Ratner family.

Kelley received $ 80,000 of his money directly from donors, unions, PACs, and corporations in the city of Cleveland. More than $ 117,000 came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, and another $ 20,000 came from abroad.

Kelley’s largest spend on media consulting was $ 6,000 for Falls Communication in North Ridgeville. Another $ 2,000 went to Pathway Polling in Lakewood, with most of Kelley’s remaining spending going towards daily campaign expenses such as cell phones and advertising.

Bibb reported raising around $ 27,000 during that time, adding to the $ 144,000 he had in his account. Bibb spent $ 12,000 on a final bill of around $ 160,000. More than half of Bibb’s money came from Cleveland, around 29% – around $ 7,700 – came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio. About 20% of Bibb’s money – $ 5,750 – came from abroad.

Bibb’s largest spend on fundraising advice to LA Harris and Associates, Kentucky was $ 7,500. Another US $ 1,365 went towards housing his finance director.

Cleveland City Councilor Blaine Griffin, who said he was running for re-election but hadn’t completely ruled out an offer for a mayor, raised $ 45,830 for a total of $ 45,830 after spending just over $ 93,000. Nearly 70% of Griffin’s money – $ 31,950 – came from the suburbs or elsewhere in Ohio, and around 29% – around $ 13,000 – came from Cleveland.

Griffin’s largest spend was $ 2,374.92 for a MacBook. Another $ 1,800 went into a Ward 6 event in January 2020.

Former councilor and hopeful 2017 mayor, Zack Reed, who currently works for Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose, raised $ 31,150 and only spent more than $ 11,000, with a cash balance of just over $ 20,000 ended. Reed also loaned his campaign $ 40. More than half of Reed’s money – $ 16,900 – came from outside Cleveland.

Former Mayor Dennis Kucinich raised $ 51,000 for his $ 402 in the bank. However, Kucinich also had $ 35,777 in outstanding debt on him in the form of a loan during his tenure as governor in 2018.

All of Kucinich’s donors also gave to Reed. More than half of Kucinich’s money – $ 28,000 – came from the politically active restaurateur Tony George and his family. George also gave Reed $ 5,500.

Another $ 20,000 of Kucinich’s money came from real estate developer James Kassouf and his family, a Republican donor who was recently pardoned by Republican President Donald Trump in December for pleading guilty to a single count of filing a false tax return. Kassouf gave Reed $ 2,500.

Cleveland-based immigration attorney Margaret Wong also gave both candidates $ 2,000 to Kucinich and $ 500 to Reed.

Cleveland City Councilor Basheer Jones raised just over $ 80,000. However, with just $ 11,500 in the bank and $ 44,000, Jones was left with just under $ 48,000 in cash.

Jones took the unusual step of not disclosing the full names and addresses of his contributors, which is required by law. A spokeswoman for Cuyahoga County Electoral Bureau said Jones’ treasurer was in the process of updating the report with the full list of donors.

Jones spent nearly $ 24,000 on consulting and marketing alone. The biggest beneficiary was the Columbus-based Redfern & Rossi owned by former Ohio Democratic Party leader Chris Redfern for $ 7,000. Philadelphia-based Youssef Komah, described as a campaign strategy and marketing advisor, received $ 6,500.

If Jackson runs for re-election, he doesn’t raise any money for it. According to the latest report, Jackson has not raised any money since July, which ended up with just over $ 6,000 in his campaign account.