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Hard Numbers: Meta’s mess, Bangladesh’s bailout, Africa’s floods, China’s gender gap

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.


11,000: There’s nothing meta about it: Mark Zuckerberg’s company on Wednesday laid off more than 11,000 employees, totalling 13% of its workforce. The cuts come after a wretched year for Meta, which is struggling with lower digital ad revenue amid a global economic slowdown, while facing fierce competition from other platforms for younger users. Zuck says the company will now focus more narrowly on artificial intelligence, advertising, and his beloved metaverse.

4.5 billion: Bangladesh is the latest country to have secured a provisional bailout – worth a whopping $4.5 billion – from the International Monetary Fund. Already highly indebted before the dual crises of COVID and the war in Ukraine, Bangladesh has seen its foreign reserves completely dry up.

4 million: Farmers across Central and West Africa are reeling after torrential floods decimated their crops. At least 4 million people, mostly small subsistence farmers, say their harvests have been destroyed. This comes as many import-reliant African countries were already facing severe food insecurity due to the war in Ukraine.

33: Under President Xi Jinping’s tenure, female participation in the Chinese workforce has dropped significantly, with the country's place in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report having fallen 33 places since 2012. Cultural norms in China have certainly shifted since Beijing hosted the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, where Hillary Clinton famously proclaimed that “women’s rights are human rights.”


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