Hard times - Feb 8
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Tajikistan 'facing catastrophe'
Natalia Antelava, BBC News
Tajikistan is in the grip of emergency food shortages, the UN's World Food Programme is warning.
The deteriorating food situation is part of the energy crisis which hit the mountainous nation in the middle of its coldest winter for five decades.
The cost of food has tripled in recent months, partially because of rising world prices.
Some humanitarian agencies claim Central Asia's poorest nation is heading towards catastrophe.
It's well below zero in Tajikistan, but most people have no electricity, no heating and now, increasingly, many don't have enough food either.
(6 February 2008)
Frozen Tajikistan pleads for energy aid
TAJIKISTAN, paralysed by the coldest winter in decades, asked for emergency international aid today to help it survive an energy crisis which has left millions of people without power and heating.
The bitter cold - with temperatures plunging to -20 degrees celsius across the impoverished nation - caught authorities off guard this year, forcing the government to ration electricity, water and gas.
(7 February 2008)
Pakistan industry warns of economic turmoil
Ashraf Javed, The Nation (Pakistan)
LAHORE-The country’s leading industrialists and businessmen on Wednesday said that the industry is on the verge of collapse due to worst-ever energy crisis which may lead to economic turmoil in Pakistan as the present govt has badly failed to stabilise the economy.
The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has decided to stop investment in Punjab due to the energy crisis while the Pakistan Industrialists and Traders Association Front (PIAF) has set 48-hours deadline for the Punjab govt to improve the situation, otherwise, they would be left with no other option but to march towards Governor’s House.
‘We have advised all our members to immediately stop the investment in Punjab due to worst energy crisis. We don’t have any other option but to change our strategy and shift the business to other countries preferably UAE’, Sheikh Akbar, Chairman APTMA Punjab, told reporters during a hurriedly called Press conference at the APTMA Headquarters on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Muhammad Ali Mian while strongly criticising the attitude of the top management of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), said that both the industrial and commercial sectors are on the verge of collapse due to the worst-ever energy crisis.
(7 February 2008)
Botswana : Power shortage, serious obstruction in economic growth
In 2007 Botswana transformed itself for one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country according to one of the surveys conducted. The country has one of the fastest growth rates, but the recurrent power cuts is creating blockage in the economic growth for the next fiscal year.
Due to increase in the demand of power which is not being fulfilled many industries are now shifting to other options like fuel-operated generators. The Government has also raised the prices of petrol and diesel recently which will boost the cost of production. this in turn will hamper the export earnings of the country.
Industry insiders fear that if the power cuts continue, it will not allow Botswana to reach the desired target Vision 2016.
(7 February 2008)