Brazil Current Affairs - 2020

Mosquito-borne Zika virus creates panic over birth defects in Latin America

Mosquito-borne Zika virus has created a panic over thousands birth defects in the Latin America countries.

New case of child born with the virus has been reported in these countries. However, Brazil is experiencing the largest known outbreak of Zika with most cases in the north-east region.

In this region, babies have been born a with abnormal condition called microcephaly i.e. with abnormally smaller heads which can cause brain damage.

To avoid the spread of Zika virus some Latin American countries viz. Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Jamaica have warned women to avoid getting pregnant.

The virus also has been reported in the United States (US) after three cases were detected in Florida in people who had recently travelled to Latin America.

About Zika virus

  • Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
  • Virus family: Flaviviridae.
  • Genus: Flavivirus.
  • The virus was first identified in 1947 in Uganda and its name has been derived from Zika Forest.
  • Transmission: Zika virus is not contagious but it is mainly transmitted by daytime-active Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after it bites someone infected with the virus and transmit it by biting another human.
  • Most common symptoms: Headache, muscle and joint pain, mild fever, rash, pinkeye and inflammation of the underside of the eyelid.
  • Treatment and Prevention: There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available. The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites and clearing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

Special Note:  Aedes aegypti mosquitoes also transmit 3 other vector-borne diseases Chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.

Union Cabinet gives nod to Tripartite Agreement of IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of the Tripartite Agreement on the IBSA Fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger.

The IBSA fund for the Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger was set up in 2004 by three member countries India, Brazil and South Africa for South-South cooperation.

Key facts

  • The IBSA Fund undertakes development projects in third countries and the first project under it will be financed for the support of agriculture and livestock development.
  • Contribution of IBSA countries: Each member country will contribute US$ 1 million annually for the IBSA Fund.
  • Till January 2015 the total amount accumulated in the fund was 28.2 million US dollars. So far, India on its part has contributed total 9.1 million US dollars to the Fund.
  • The total fund used for implemented or approved projects is around 26.2 million US dollars. Remaining 2.09 million US dollars is available for programming.
  • The fund is one of the three pillars of cooperation under the IBSA Dialogue Forum for South-South cooperation. The other two pillars are consultation and coordination on global political issues and trilateral collaboration in concrete areas and projects.

The IBSA Fund was awarded with South-South Partnership Award at the 2006 UN Day in December 2006. The award indicates the importance of the IBSA Fund in the context of South-South developmental cooperation.


The IBSA Dialogue Forum was launched in June 2003. It is an international tripartite grouping  for promoting international cooperation among three vibrant democracies and developing countries of the south viz India, Brazil and South Africa that are recognized for having global relevance and impact.

The forum provides these three countries a common platform to engage in discussions for cooperation in the various fields incuding agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others.