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Haiti Stuck in A "Vicious Circle," Says IMF Economist | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Haiti stuck in a "vicious circle," says IMF economist

Amid the current global turmoil, one country that's definitely no stranger to crises is Haiti. Haitians will surely feel the pinch of rising prices of things like food and fuel, International Monetary Fund economist Nicole Laframboise says during a Global Stage conversation with GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft.

With more than 60% of the population under the poverty line and food inflation up 40%, it's going to be "extremely difficult for the poor," she told Shari Friedman, Eurasia Group's Managing Director for Climate and Sustainability.

Haiti didn't suffer as much from the economic shock of the pandemic as other countries because it doesn't trade much nor have a big tourism sector.

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Podcast: The Ukraine war is crippling the world's food supply, says food security expert Ertharin Cousin

Listen: The Ukraine war and sanctions against Russia have created a perfect storm that will lead to a global food supply crisis, Ertharin Cousin, former head of the UN World Food Programme, tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO World podcast. Russia and Ukraine account for almost a third of the world's wheat exports. All nations could be affected since these are global commodities, but developing countries that rely on those imports are most at risk. The disruptions could double the amount of people that went hungry during the pandemic, and since agriculture is a seasonal business, the worst may be yet to come.

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COVID & War Highlight Need To Get More People Online | Vickie Robinson | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Want global equality? Get more people online

We think we live in a digital-first world — but there's no "digital" at all for 37% of the global population.

That's a big problem in today's economy, where you'll miss out on many opportunities for advancement if you're not connected. The digital divide is thus widening the equality gap.

Being offline "places an automatic limit on your ability to be productive and has major ramifications for our society," says Vickie Robinson, head of Microsoft's Airband Initiative to expand broadband access throughout the developing world.

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After COVID, Belgian Small Business Began to Bloom | Isabelle Nijs | GZERO Media

After COVID, Belgian small business began to bloom

Isabelle Nijs runs a hair salon in Begijnendijk, Belgium, about an hour’s drive to the northeast of Brussels. Nijs struggled to keep her business going through the pandemic during lockdowns and the lack of customers that brought. Rents and insurance premiums continued going up, but she didn’t get any financial support to meet the rising costs. Now, with people coming out of COVID restrictions, her business has begun to bloom … only to be impacted yet again, this time by the war in Ukraine. Now, she’s also dealing with supply chain issues, with prices going up and quality going down, not to mention long wait times.

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Waiting for Foot Traffic to Return in Tokyo | Small Business Owner Shizuka Takahashi

Waiting for foot traffic to return in Tokyo

Shizuka Takahashi wants Tokyo’s foot traffic to return. Having face-to-face interactions with her customers means everything to her — in fact, the desire to interact with people is why she opened her Tokyo shop, PuRe Juice Bar. She got the idea while living in New York City, where people know and love smoothies. In Tokyo, however, the juice culture is less common. Takahashi opened in 2019 only to be hit by reduced sales as a result of COVID-19. By learning to market herself throughout the pandemic, and with government aid, she’s been able to keep her company afloat. Now she’s looking forward to helping her Japanese customers get hooked on healthy juice drinks.

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How can we help small businesses recover from the pandemic? Watch live today at 12 pm ET

TODAY AT 12 PM ET: COVID-19 has changed the way we shop, work, and live. While tough for all of us, it’s been brutal for small- and medium-sized businesses, which, according to the World Bank, make up a whopping 90% of all businesses and 50% of employment worldwide.

JJ Ramberg, co-founder of Goodpods and former host of MSNBC's Your Business, will moderate "Big Impact: Small Businesses and Global Pandemic Recovery," a livestream discussion about the path to stable, sustainable growth for small businesses.

Participants include:

  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group and GZERO Media
  • Jeni Mundy, Global Head Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Visa
  • Tom Sullivan, VP of Small Business Policy, US Chamber of Commerce
  • Chris Tsakalakis, CEO, Kiva
  • Veronique Willems, Secretary General, SMEunited

Register here.

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Ian Bremmer Explains: How Did We Get to Today's Supply Chain Mess? | GZERO World

How did we get to today's supply chain mess?

The supply chain mess is hitting all of us. Inflation is now the highest it's been in over 30 years.

The costs of food, gas and housing are going through the roof. What's more, almost everything made outside of America is now in short supply — like semiconductors for our cars.

Why is this happening? A lot of it has to do with the pandemic. Asian factories had to shut down or thought there would be less demand for their stuff. So did shipping companies. But then online shopping surged, and now there's a lot of pent-up demand to spend all the cash we saved during COVID.

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Will Biden be the Grinch this year?

The minutiae of supply chains makes for boring dinner table talk, but it's increasingly becoming a hot topic of conversation now that packages are taking much longer to arrive in the consumer-oriented US, while prices of goods soar.

With the issue unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, right-wing media have dubbed President Biden the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, conjuring images of sad Christmas trees surrounded by distraught children whose holiday gifts are stuck somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.

It hasn't been a good run for Uncle Joe in recent months. What issues are tripping him up?

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