(ANSA) – ROME, SEPTEMBER 16 – “The consequences of this global crisis are very serious and depend on the spread of the coronavirus, they are difficult to assess. The extent of the unprecedented event evident in the costs of human lives in the world”. This was stated by the governor of the Bank of Italy, Ignazio Visco, speaking to the bankers of the ABI Executive, specifying that “the prospects are uncertain and this negatively affects household and business spending” (ANSA).
In the midst of a pandemic due to covid-19, the latest UN report on hunger and nutrition it leaves us with a bleak picture that only makes it worse: hunger continues to increase in the world and only the rich can afford a healthy diet, which represents at least five times more of the paltry $ 1.90 on which millions subsist every day of poor people around the world. In reality, nearly 3 billion people (almost half of the world’s population!) Cannot afford to buy healthy and nutritious foods (fruits, vegetables, fish and other proteins of animal and vegetable origin) because these products are, in general , five times more expensive than basic products such as cereals or sugar, which provide energy low in nutrients. They simply don’t have the money to buy them. The report emphasizes that hunger and poor nutrition have continued to grow five years ago, when countries pledged to so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), among them to eradicate hunger.
The Severe Food Insecurity indicator presented in the report, which is equivalent to the perception of hunger, points out that at least one day in 2019, 750 million people could not eat! And the Moderate Food Insecurity indicator shows that another 1.25 billion people ate poorly. Together, severe and moderate food insecurity affect nearly 2 billion people – that is, one in four inhabitants of the planet – who had restrictions to be able to eat in 2019. The report indicates that no improvements have been achieved in the the problem of childhood overweight and that obesity in adults is increasing in all regions of the world. That can compromise our future generations and increase deaths in the pandemic because obesity is a recognized ally of covid-19.
But one of the great novelties of the report is the finding that the world produces more than enough basic foods (the so-called commodities: wheat, corn, soybeans, rice) but not enough fruits, vegetables and animal protein necessary to cover the minimum daily intake of 400 grams recommended by FAO and WHO. Only some countries in Asia, the rich countries of Europe and North America are able to produce fruits and vegetables at an affordable price for their population. In other words, only developed countries produce enough to supply their population with healthy food.
The reality, in today’s context, is that only the rich can eat healthy and nutritiously. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, 57% of people cannot afford the cost of a healthy diet because they earn less per day than it costs; In Brazil, 25% of the population, one in four people, earn less per day than they would have to pay for a healthy meal.
Only some countries in Asia, the rich countries of Europe and North America are able to produce fruits and vegetables at an affordable price for their population
In addition to a moral imperative, there are a thousand reasons to promote the adoption of healthier diets for everyone: together with the improvement of global health, doing so would have very important positive impacts for the planet and for the climate. If people could afford healthier and more nutritious diets, public health spending associated with unhealthy diets could be reduced by almost 50%, and greenhouse gases linked to the food sector would decrease between 40 and 70% by 2030.
The UN report states that to improve access to nutritious and healthy food, its cost must be lowered. Better quality and nutritious products are undoubtedly more expensive. But for people to be able to access them there is another way, which is to increase their income, particularly the wages of workers. The wages paid today in agriculture and other sectors in many countries are miserable. I mean, it’s not that the food is expensive, it’s that the salaries are alarmingly low. Improving wages would be another way to fight hunger: there is no shortage of food, there is no shortage of money to buy it!
This idea is not new: Henry Ford, inventor of the Ford T, said that he wanted to produce a car that his employees could drive. That was the motto of capitalism in its beginnings: that it was proportional to everyone, also to employees and workers, who allowed the opportunity to enjoy what they produced thanks to their work. So improving income distribution by raising basic wages is what we really need to eradicate hunger in the world.
The new UN report also recommends a review of agricultural policies and subsidies to encourage the production of healthy food, a fundamental issue that mainly affects developed countries that heavily subsidize their agricultural products, especially those commodities. It would be advisable to direct subsidies to fruits, vegetables and other fresh products.
There is also important scope for improving policies that promote a change in eating habits, and that entail a food re-education, essential to tackle the obesity pandemic facing the world today.
Low wages only contribute to misery and hunger
I want to insist on this idea: low food prices are the cause of hunger suffered by a large part of family farmers in developing countries in Africa and Latin America, and are also, in part, a result of the subsidies they provide rich countries to their farmers. Keeping wages low in agriculture only contributes to maintaining misery and hunger.
The belief that low food prices solve the problem of hunger does not hold up: hunger declined a lot in the period between 2008 and 2014, which was when food prices soared, rising rapidly in the international market. The causality is precisely the opposite: wages are low, and therefore food prices have to be low for people to survive. That is why millions of poor people around the world are forced to eat junk food (or junk): ultra-processed products of poorer quality and very energetic, and they cannot afford animal protein or fruits and vegetables, which are the healthiest foods.
Let’s make an effort. In this post-pandemic “new normal” we cannot allow ourselves to repeat the same mistakes of the past if we want to achieve Zero Hunger and a healthy and sustainable diet for all by 2030. We must reduce social inequality, starting with raising basic wages to allow everyone can afford a healthy diet.
José Graziano da Silvahas been general director of theFAO (2011-2019) and extraordinary minister for Food Security in Brazil.
If one proposes the children to watch, observe, feel, make, play, they become aware of all that nature gives us. From a young age, explain to them that not everything you eat and do not touch it, because there are plants ‘poison’.
They assimilate very well all of these parameters, and make the difference between a wild strawberry and a bay-toxic. Offer a mini-plot in the garden, or a box on the balcony – it is a way to connect urban children and the children of the fields -so they sow and plant what they prefer.
A mini garden just for them
Once, in the countryside, we picked up a small piece of a vegetable garden by the children. Now, we offered them a square of wood ! Very playful, a square allows them to take ownership of the place that they will cultivate, by finding themselves in front of a small space and their height. In gardening, they are going to understand the rhythm of the seasons, take confidence in them, to have the joy and pride of the harvest.
The taste of the good things
Adults, they will remember fragrance, successes and failures and have learned the taste of good things. With their range, leave the seeds, pots, a few tools without danger, catalogs, highly illustrated, books selected according to their age. They eat very little vegetables and don’t appreciate the herbs ? If they grow them themselves, they are proud to present them at the table… and the taste. The children “crack” for certain perfumes. They especially like the mints to smell Ricqlès, the lemon balm smells of lemon.
A herbarium, to learn
Among the workshops in which our dear little may be exercised, as well in the garden than in forest, at edges of way, and even in the city, it is the preparation of a herbarium. There is no better school to have good basics in botany, noting the name, the family, and the characteristics of each plant. Over the blooms of the garden, random walks, plants are everywhere !
For the identification, indispensable, it takes a good flora. Teach them that no one picks ever a plant protected or endangered : we just photographed ! It is a morning of fine weather, when the dew is evaporated, that you have to cut the stem chosen, with the flowers and the leaves. Let them ask the plants gathered on a paper towel. Help them for the future. Identify the plants, then put, flat, between the paper journal, with leaves and flowers, and then place this assembly under a considerable weight (Atlas, encyclopedia). You can also use a special press. Wait two weeks before placing them in the herbarium, on boards in stock. Secure each plant with the help of a small bit of scotch. Record all the information collected, and then close the herbarium, so that the colors do not deteriorate too fast.
The small fauna
Tell them why bees and other pollinating insects are essential for the production of our fruits and vegetables. Follow with them in the course of the ants, give them a magnifying glass, so that they detect the larvae and how they develop into adults. Install a “building” to insects, to manufacture with hollow stems close to the logs.
In order to better observe the birds
Attract birds by gluttony, it works every time. Let your little ones prepare for an ornamental edible, to be hung near a window… out of the reach of cats ! Make available to the wire, a large needle and fruit : raisins, dried apricots, nuts (without the shells !), slices of apples etc…. They should just put each fruit, by inserting, after having been soaked in warm water for one hour, to form a garland. Impossible, then, not to be hypnotized by the incessant ballet of birds who come to feast on. A cup of water placed on the rim completes the feast.
Erfurt Claus 2020 has big plans for 2020. The managing director of BNP Paribas REIM in Germany – the real estate investment arm of the French major bank – plans to launch an open real estate fund.
With this, the investment manager, whose real estate expertise in Germany has so far been reserved primarily for wealthy and institutional investors, also wants to enter the market for retail funds.
Or rather: wanted. According to the original plan, the fund should start selling at the beginning of April. But then Corona came and everything for Thomas’ plans was different than expected. “We have now postponed the start of our new mutual fund to June 2020,” he says.
The virus pandemic not only keeps the economy under control, but also the capital markets. If retailers and hoteliers today apply for deferral of rental payments to bridge their slump in sales as a result of the prescribed standstill, sooner or later investors in open-ended real estate funds will also be affected. Through the funds, they are indirectly the landlords of the industries concerned.
Corona crisis different from financial crisis
The situation brings back memories of the financial crisis, when real estate values had to be corrected and funds closed because too many investors wanted their money at once. Experts also expect returns from the funds to decline as a result of Corona. Nevertheless, the situation today is different from that in the financial crisis.
At that time, the epicenter of the financial crisis was in the real estate sector. High-risk real estate loans failed, the nervousness spread rapidly to other real estate classes. In droves, investors withdrew funds from the open real estate funds.
Because they didn’t have enough liquidity buffers to earn all the claims, they were frozen. The funds bought time to monetize their properties. In general panic and under great time pressure, they sometimes made considerable losses, which ultimately also had to cope with the investors.
Today, there is no high-risk real estate loan at the beginning of the economic crisis, but a virus. “What we know from previous financial crises is that the spillover effects become more apparent the closer they are to the cause,” explains Steffen Sebastian, professor of real estate finance at the Ireb Real Estate Academy in Regensburg. However, the real estate is not in a crisis of confidence today.
In the corona crisis, retailers and hoteliers ask for rent deferrals because they are not allowed to open their shops and break down sales – and not because they have encountered problems due to a previously miserable business situation. For many companies, it is a stress test.
“Tenants from the hotel and retail sector have informed us that they want to negotiate their rental payments with us,” says Esteban de Lope, Managing Director of Deka Immobilien. The fund house is not alone in this. The other large providers from Commerz Real to DWS to Union Investment Real Estate also report on corresponding inquiries.
In the interests of investors
This puts the funds in a delicate position: On the one hand, they have an interest in keeping long-term leases – and thus secure income – in the funds and helping their tenants with a temporary solution.
On the other hand, they have to work for their customers, the investors. “We are committed to our investors and therefore do not grant flat-rate deferrals or rent reductions,” said a spokesman for Union Investment Real Estate. In plain language: deferrals remain individual decisions.
If rents are deferred, only the time of payment is postponed. They still have to be paid. But: “There could also be rent losses or rent adjustments here,” says Sonja Knorr, real estate fund analyst at the rating agency Scope.
The funds are also aware of the consequences: “Overall, it can be expected that the rental income of the funds will decline this year,” says de Lope from Deka. No fund manager can and does not yet estimate the extent of the decline.
Investors are not entitled to immediate notification of deferral or loss of rent: “There are no ad hoc notification requirements for open-ended real estate funds. If the fund defers rents or even loses rents, it does not have to notify it immediately. This is enough in the quarterly notifications to investors, ”explains Carola Rathke, partner at the business law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Germany.
Some providers already confirm revaluations. A spokesman for Commerz Real, for example, reports that in the first three months of this year objects dominated by retail were devalued by the experts.
But this also includes: The problems in the trade already existed before Corona, they have now been exacerbated by the crisis. At the same time, Commerz Real emphasizes: “At the moment, however, we are not seeing any significant effects on the management of our properties.” The provider calculates the fund’s return at 2.0 to 2.5 percent, roughly on the previous year’s level.
Loss of yield
Analysts remain more skeptical about the outlook. Rüdiger Sälzle, head of the fund analysis firm Fonds Consult, expects yields to fall by 50 to 100 basis points due to the corona crisis.
“On average, I expect a return of 1.5 to two percent,” says Sälzle. That was calculated conservatively, but manageable in view of the general conditions. The drop in rental income is likely to be felt initially, alongside property valuation and interest on liquidity, one of the return components of the funds. Where new contracts are due and the new rents are significantly lower than the previous ones, this will also lead to devaluations for real estate, says Sälzle.
The bottom line, from today’s perspective, returns remain in the positive range. This speaks in a market environment with highly volatile and sometimes sharply declining stock and bond markets for real estate. Morningstar analysts are already showing that European investors are drawing more capital from equity, bond and mixed funds than ever before.
There are still no official data for the real estate funds. Those of the BVI fund association for the first quarter will not be published until May. Scope analyst Knorr recognizes investment reluctance. “But we cannot see any waves of sales.”
The funds themselves report positive inflows in the first quarter. Commerz Real’s house investment has recorded inflows of 470 million euros since the beginning of the year. “The announcements of returns are still in the single-digit million range,” said a spokesman.
Union Investment Real Estate, whose funds UniImmo Germany and UniImmo Europe are among the largest open mutual funds, also reports on return claims in the single-digit million range. A spokesman for DWS says there are still positive net inflows – ie investments less return requests – and “generally no significantly increased return requests”.
Longer holding periods
In order to prevent a sudden, massive withdrawal of capital, which caused the funds to plummet during the financial crisis, stricter regulations apply anyway. Since 2013 it has been said that anyone who buys an open-ended real estate fund must hold it for at least two years.
Anyone wishing to redeem their shares can only do so with a notice period of one year. The illusion of a completely liquid trade in an illiquid product such as real estate was taken away from investors. Because when the going gets tough, the financial crisis showed, the funds have to sell their assets – and that is far more difficult than trading a stock package on the stock exchanges.
However, there is one exception for investors who bought their shares before 2013: they can withdraw up to EUR 30,000 from the fund every six months. “Today, however, the funds have sufficient liquidity to service these claims,” says analyst Knorr, drawing attention to another difference to the financial crisis. The average liquidity ratio is 20 percent of the fund’s assets. 50 percent must be invested in real estate.
Debt financing is also more conservative today than in the financial crisis, says Knorr. Before the financial crisis, the average was 28.6 percent, today it is 15.1 percent. Some funds even had quotas of more than 40 percent.
With this credit lever, earnings could be increased in good times. This also applies reciprocally to the losses. “Today, a debt ratio of up to 30 percent is required by law. This is very conservative for real estate transactions, ”explains Knorr.
If funds fall below threshold values, for example that less than 50 percent of the fund’s assets are held in real estate, the capital management company must inform Bafin, who acts as the supervisory authority, explains Martina Sradj, partner of Eversheds Sutherland in Germany.
Private investors among themselves
Another stability factor: up to the financial crisis, semi-professional and institutional investors were invested in open real estate funds to a much greater extent than today. “Funds of funds or asset managers were very quick to return their shares at the time,” says Knorr. Today, these actors are not prohibited from investing in open-ended real estate funds. However, a wide range of alternative products has only developed for institutional investors in recent years, which is usually also cheaper.
The proportion of institutional investors in open-ended funds cannot be clearly quantified, but is significantly below the level of the financial crisis. Real estate funds of funds have disappeared from the market for private investors, explains Knorr.
The lawyer Rathke from Eversheds Sutherland adds: “Today, institutional and semi-professional investors are not directly prohibited from investing in open-ended real estate funds. However, there are strict requirements in terms of tax law, so that an investment in the open products is generally excluded. “
If people in countries like Germany, Austria or the USA are talking about relaxing the corona restrictions when shops are allowed to open again, then this should also make things easier for investors in open real estate funds. However, these measures are not a guarantee of a return to normalcy. This also applies to the real estate world. Sälzle, for example, points out the so-called second-round effects: “How the corona crisis will affect the real estate segment in the medium to long term is still completely open,” says the analyst. So the world is today in the “largest joint field trial in the home office”.
In the future, people will return to their normal jobs. But the office world doesn’t have to be the same. “The structure of the office space will change in the medium term. In the future, less space could be rented and employees could be given more flexibility in dealing with their home office, ”says Sälzle. What that means for the funds as a landlord is not yet clear.
Claus Thomas of BNP Paribas REIM, whose fund is due to launch this year, is not worried by this. He already has several objects in sight for sale, including a hotel in Munich. Although hotels in Corona are under particular pressure, he still assumes that use will develop above average in the long term, says Thomas. His fund should also focus on megatrends such as digitization and also invest in healthcare properties – two areas that could well benefit from the corona crisis.
More: Where investors can still find returns in times of the corona crisis
NEW YORK – Ensuring health, safety, food and a roof for all are the priorities of the budget presented this Thursday by the city of New York, some accounts of “war” in the face of the coronavirus crisis, which come accompanied by an appeal to the American president Donald Trump to allow a “rescue” of the Big Apple.
With tax revenues slumping as a result of the slowdown in economic activity, the mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced “painful” cuts of more than $ 2 billion to try to balance the budget in the year that begins in June.
According to his calculations, New York is going to lose some 7,400 million dollars in income, a “horrible” number, according to admitted De Blasio, that requires a determined intervention of the federal Government.
The mayor urged Washington to cover this deficit in full and warned that without that money, the basic needs of New Yorkers cannot be guaranteed.
“If they can find 58,000 million to rescue the airlines, surely they can find 7,500 million for the largest city in the country,” stressed the mayor.
Democrat De Blasio appealed directly to Trump, whom he asked for a clear signal of support for his hometown for Senate Republicans to give the green light to necessary aid.
As he insisted, the city is already doing everything possible on its part, with a budget of $ 89.3 billion, $ 6 billion less than the proposal that the City Council had initially made in January, $ 3.4 billion less than last year’s accounts and using the reserves he had accumulated to have “balanced” accounts.
Among other things, the budget foresees that all public activities be drastically limited and, for example, this summer the swimming pools will not be opened.
De Blasio also warned New Yorkers not to hold out too much hope about beach opening, given the risk of contagion from the coronavirus posed by the huge crowds seen in places like Coney Island.
Public resources, he insisted, will be devoted to basic issues: health, safety, food and housing.
“These are four things that people are mostly thinking about and the government has to focus on those four things. Things that would have been a priority two or three months ago cannot be now. Things we would like to focus on in times of peace cannot be the priority in times of war and these are times of war, “said de Blasio.
The Democrat also warned Trump and Republicans that their desire to restart the economy as soon as possible will be ruined if the basic needs of the population are not met or if they precipitate and cause a resurgence of COVID-19. .
Trump, De Blasio insisted, has only one chance to do this well and, if he is wrong, he will regret it for a long time.
In addition, New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea offered a video conference on Thursday to detail how the coronavirus has affected the city’s police forces to date.
Specifically, the New York police have registered 7,155 positive cases for COVID-19 among its members, about 20% of its staff and 27 officers have died from the virus.
Shea also detailed that it is estimated that between 1,400 and 1,500 of the sick police officers have returned to work.
“You start to see a little light at the end of the tunnel and it seems that the worst is over,” said Shea, who regretted the losses and asked for a moment of silence.
Dive in the family tree of the Gipuzkoans is at your fingertips digitally. The historical archives dependent on the Provincial Council, the General Archive of Gipuzkoa (Tolosa) and the Provincial Historical Archive of Gipuzkoa (Oñati), the municipal archives, the ecclesiastics, and some private archives can be consulted online for free. The starting point for starting an investigation into a family is know the name of an ancestor born before 1900. With this information, the complete data can be found in the sacramental books (baptism, marriage or death)), on the search portal of the diocesan archive of Donostia (https://artxiboa.mendezmende.org).
In the event that the family roots extend to the rest of the Basque territories, the reference for consultation is the archives portal of the Basque Government. https://dokuklik.euskadi.eus/sacramentales/sacramentalesbilatzailea. Once the ancestors are identified, the investigations can be deepened in the General Archive of Gipuzkoa and in the Provincial Historical Archive of Gipuzkoa, which are accessed from http://artxiboataria.gipuzkoa.eus. Municipal archives are another almost inexhaustible source of information about the past.
Bavaria started a larger test campaign yesterday to find out the extent of the coronavirus epidemic in Germany that will last over a year, according to the region’s Prime Minister Markus Söder. About 3,000 casually chosen households will be part of the experiment, in which blood tests will be taken to try to reveal the hidden number of infected and people who have already overcome the disease and have become immune. The health personnel who will go to the homes will be accompanied by two police officers before the increasing number of scammers who take advantage of the epidemic to deceive the unwary.
Söder noted that the number of those infected with COVID-19 continues to increase, although in a slower way. “The curve is flattening out,” the Bavarian prime minister noted. Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), responsible for coordinating the fight against the epidemic in Germany, was also hopeful that the infections would subside in view of the reduction in the rate of reproduction of infections to one, that is, each Infected only infects one person and not more than three, as when the virus began to spread throughout the country.
Wieler was satisfied before increasing intensive care beds from 28,000 to 40,000 within a weekAlthough he expressed his fear that they will not be achieved, he warned that “as long as we do not have a vaccine, we will have the disease.” Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn also noted a slight decline in the epidemic in Germany. “We see early trends that the growth of new infections is slowing down,” he said.
On the other hand, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel has abandoned her two-week voluntary quarantine after confirming with new tests that she is not infected with Covid-19. Merkel had confined herself to her private home after coming into contact with a doctor who tested positive soon after.. “Fortunately, the chancellor has undergone several tests that have given negative results,” said Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the head of the German government, who commented that Merkel has returned to her office at the Federal Chancellery.