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News: The Small Industries Development Bank of India(SIDBI) has launched the SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency response against Coronavirus (SAFE PLUS) Scheme.
- Aim: To provide financial assistance of up to Rs 1 crore to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs) that are involved in making essential items to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) was set up in 1990 under an Act of Indian Parliament.
- Aim:To act as the Principal Financial Institution for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise(MSME) sector as well as for coordination of functions of institutions engaged in similar activities.
- Ownership:Shares of SIDBI are held by the Government of India and twenty- nine other institutions / public sector banks / insurance companies owned or controlled by the Central Government.
News: India has shared nine whole genome sequences of the coronavirus with the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data(GISAID).
- The Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data(GISAID) Initiative was launched on the occasion of the 61st World Health Assembly in 2008.
- In 2010, Germany became the official host of the GISAID Initiative through a public private partnership.
- Aim: To promote international sharing of all influenza virus sequences related clinical and epidemiological data to understand how the viruses evolve, spread and potentially become pandemics.
- Headquarters: Munich, Germany.
- Genome sequencing: It is a technique that allows us to read and interpret genetic information found within DNA or RNA.
News: Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) has launched a project for the restoration and conservation of Myristica swamps.
- Myristica swamps are a type of freshwater swamp forests predominantly composed of species Myristica,the most primitive of the flowering plants on earth.
- Habitat: Western Ghats of India.
- Significance: They play a key role in maintaining perennial stream flow and possess higher potential to store carbon than nearby non-swamp forests.
- Threats: Climate change, change in land use pattern, anthropogenic factors among others.
News:The US President has threatened to freeze US funding to the World Health Organization(WHO) due to negligence on coronavirus pandemic and for its China Centric approach.
Funding:There are four kinds of contributions that make up funding for the WHO which are:
- Assessed contributions:These are the dues countries pay in order to be a member of the Organization.The amount each Member State must pay is calculated relative to the country’s wealth and population.
- Voluntary contributions: It comes from Member States (in addition to their assessed contribution) or from other partners.They can range from flexible to highly earmarked.
- Core voluntary contributions:It allows less well-funded activities to benefit from a better flow of resources and ease implementation bottlenecks that arise when immediate financing is lacking.
- Pandemic Influenza Preparedness(PIP) Contributions:It was started in 2011 to improve and strengthen the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential and to increase the access of developing countries to vaccines and other pandemic related supplies.
- Currently, the United States is the WHO’s biggest contributor making up 14.67% of total funding.
- The biggest programme area where the money is allocated is polio eradication(26.51 per cent).