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India renews calls for urgent reforms in IMF, World Bank

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Lima: India reiterated its call for quota reforms in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), a top official said on Sunday.

“India called for governance reforms in both institutions to reflect growing share of developing countries in global GDP,” tweeted economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das, who attended the IMF-World Bank annual meetings here.

“Both institutions highly appreciative of policy steps of India,” he said.

Addressing the plenary session of the IMF-World Bank meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had voiced strong reservation to unprecedented delay in implementing the quota reform of the IMF, saying the organisation will be constrained in meeting its obligations in absence of governance reforms.

Underlining India’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, Das said: “India stressed that developed countries’ contribution to climate finance should be from new and additional sources.”

Addressing the meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in the Peruvian capital on Thursday, Jaitley called for unconventional ways to raise funds in the current context achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The secretary also said the developed nations’ think tank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in a presentation, appreciated India’s contribution to new initiatives in international taxation like on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS).

“In a presentation, OECD appreciated India’s contribution to new initiatives in international taxation like BEPS project,” Das said.

Earlier at the Commonwealth finance ministers meeting here, Jaitley had welcomed the final guidelines on BEPS issued by OECD, which has also developed the common reporting standards.

The Indian finance minister also reiterated the need for global implementation of reciprocal information exchange under common reporting standards to tackle the menace of tax evasion and black money.

Earlier this week, the Paris-based OECD unveiled measures, including country-by-country reporting, a framework to end treaty shopping and curbing harmful tax practices through automatic exchange of information, in an effort to bring transparency in international taxation norms for companies.

(IANS)

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As Refugees Flee DR Congo, UN Steps Up to Reduce The Risk of Ebola

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area.

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A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a man before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The U.N. refugee agency reports it is stepping up efforts to reduce the risk of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus as refugees flee DR Congo. Latest estimates put the number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in eastern DRC at 49, including 38 deaths.

The U.N. refugee agency is working closely with DRC authorities and other agencies on actions to contain Ebola on the national and regional level. But, its main focus is to monitor possible Ebola infections among refugees fleeing across the border, mainly to Uganda, from conflict ridden North Kivu and Ituri.

UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler says the number of newly arriving refugees into Uganda from these two Ebola affected provinces increased during July from 170 a day to 250 a day. He says the majority currently is crossing at the Kisoro border point.

A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo, June 1, 2018. For the first time since the Ebola virus was identified more than 40 years ago, a vaccine has been dispatched to front line health workers.
A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo,
VOA

“So UNHCR is working with WHO, UNICEF and other partners and with the Ministry of Health of Uganda to intensify screening for Ebola at all border entry points. And, additional health workers have been deployed in the border districts to improve response capacity,” he said.

Spindler notes the World Health Organization is not recommending any restriction on the movement of people. Therefore, he says UNHCR is urging countries neighboring DRC to allow refugees in need of protection to enter their territory and to include them into preparedness and response plans and activities.

Also Read: United Nations Security Council to Closse 13-year-old Haiti Peacekeeping Mission in October

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area. Therefore, it urges governments and local communities not to adopt measures that single out refugees. Those measures may not be scientifically sound and will only serve to stigmatize and restrict refugees’ freedom of movement. (VOA)