Facebook commits to stem misinformation on vaccines
The World Health Organization, or WHO, has welcomed on Thursday a commitment by Facebook to ensure that users across all of its platforms, get the right facts on vaccination.
Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases.
For several months, WHO and Facebook have been discussing how people can access authoritative information on vaccines.
And now Instagram, Facebook Search, Groups, Pages and forums – where people search for information and advice – will direct its users to a WHO information site so they can access factual advice, in several languages.
‘Digital divide’ means technological advances not shared by all
Thanks to unprecedented technological change, “we are at the dawn of new era”, the UN deputy chief told the World Economic Forum in South Africa on Thursday.
Amina Mohammed said that technological advances bring much promise. But they also bring unpredictability in a world “already unsettled by resurgent geo-political conflicts, climate change and other global challenges”.
Digital technology connects people across the world and provides low-cost access to information. It can also improve educational opportunities and access to medical services via remote, digital devices.
At the same time, inequality is growing, said Ms. Mohammed:
“For African countries to reap the full benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution, national policy, laws and regulation should provide better direction and enabling environment for technological progress.”
Better harvests, but higher food prices leave Syrians hungry
And now to Syria, where improved security and favourable rains have boosted the country’s harvests.
And yet, a newly released UN report has found that higher food prices are making it harder for civilians to feed their families.
The Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) report revealed that despite a spike in wheat and barley production, food prices have been gradually rising over the past 12 to 14 months.
The joint report of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) cited that this was because of an increase in domestic fuel prices and a continuous depreciation of the Syrian currency on the informal exchange market.