Asia-Pacific

75 Years after the Bomb, Hiroshima Still Chooses ‘Reconciliation and Hope’

In a video message delivered to a Peace Memorial Ceremony in Japan on Thursday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has paid tribute to the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which devastated the city in 1945.

Mental Health and COVID-19 in India

To fully realise the mental health crisis that India faces in relation to COVID-19, one has to begin with recognising the very serious situation that existed even before the pandemic.

Bangladesh Deals with Triple Disasters of Flooding, Coronavirus and Lost Livelihoods

With nearly 5.5 million people people across Bangladesh affected by severe flooding -- the worst in two decades -- humanitarian experts are concerned that millions of people, already badly impacted by COVID-19, will be pushed further into poverty.

The New Poor Post-pandemic: Time for Cushioning the Most Vulnerable in Southeast Asia

After decades of impressive growth, for the first time, Southeast Asia is experiencing a drop in measured human development. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely take months to reveal itself and years to put right. Yet, a legacy of mobilizing under constraints is leading Southeast Asia’s pandemic response.

Kashmir Now Hotspot of Illegal Riverbed Mining

Going against its own orders, the government in the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered the fast-tracking of environmental clearances despite manifest evidence of illegal sand mining.

The COVID-19 Plastic Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic was a respite for nature everywhere. The air was cleaner, trekking trails were pristine, the summit of Mt Everest was deserted, and worldwide carbon emission dipped by -26%.

Modern Tools, Age-old Wisdom: on India-Sri Lanka Relations

The unique India-Sri Lanka relationship, de jure, is between equals as sovereign nations. But it’s asymmetric in terms of geographic size, population, military and economic power, on the one hand, and social indicators and geographical location, on the other. It is steeped in myth and legend, and influenced by religious, cultural and social affinities.

Southeast Asia Has a Chance to Build Back Better Post-Pandemic

Southeast Asia’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been efficient, but some areas such as data privacy, measures to go back to normalcy after lockdown is lifted, and resources for migrant or transient populations will need addressing. 

Google’s $10 Billion Investment in India Should be Inclusive of Persons with Disabilities

Over the next seven years, Google will invest a whopping $10 billion in India to improve technology, health and education, according to CEO Sundar Pichai. This is unprecedented and could be a game changer that could improve health, education and economic empowerment. 

Only Governments Can Prevent Covid-19 Recessions Becoming Depressions

Covid-19 threatens economic life the world over. The most urgent and important need is for governments, businesses and families to survive. Governments must revive economies and livelihoods to prevent Covid-19 recessions from becoming protracted depressions. The Covid-19 crisis is clearly a ‘black swan event’, threatening both public health and livelihoods. Both the pandemic and containment efforts are not due to business operations and decisions, but nonetheless have compelling consequences for them.

Include Indigenous People in COVID-19 Response

In Nepal the COVID-19 crisis has been especially hard on indigenous peoples. We had to learn a new vocabulary and use words like quarantine, self-isolation, hand sanitizers and social distancing.

COVID-19 Means Development Setbacks for Mongolia

Mongolia has recorded very few cases of COVID-19, less than 300 as on date, despite its more than 4,000 kilometre porous border with China. However, the country faces a major economic impact from the pandemic.

Securing Property and Land Rights in India

Secure property rights are fundamental to the economic and social development of any country. However, in India, we are faced with a curious conundrum where more than 70 percent of a household’s assets are held in land and housing, yet there is insufficient data and research on people’s property rights.

A Determined Path to the SDGs in 2030 Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic

As lockdowns ease in countries across Asia and the Pacific in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is clear—a return to business as usual is unimaginable in a region that was already off track to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The virtual High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development recently convened governments and stakeholders across the globe to focus on the imperative to build back better while keeping an eye on the Global Goals.

Gender Inequality and Oppression of Women: A Survivor’s Story

“What do you think happens to kerosene when it is poured on your head?” Surya stumbles as she speaks to IPS. “It goes down, it goes trickling down.” When someone speaks to a burn victim, one naturally feels shocked, sad, and sympathetic. But in talking to Surya, who has the major part of her body burned, the feelings were of hope and inspiration. How is it possible to survive this trauma and still have so much love and joy to share?

Rohingya Women Take a Seat at the Table & Share Stories in a Growing Rights Movement

Rohingya women are coming together to feature their own work, plight and stories in mainstream conversations about their community — a space they say they’ve been left out of. “If we think of revolutions or liberty or think of any ways to liberate ourselves from the shackle of suffering and being dubbed as 'the most persecuted minority on earth', women have to be part of it,” Yasmin Ullah, president of the Rohingya Human Rights Network, told IPS.


Singaporeans Opt for Continuity in Polls: ‘Strong Mandate’ for Government, but ‘no Blank Cheque’!

Singaporeans went to polls on Friday the 10th of July. It was a crisis election, seen as the most significant since the country’s independence in 1965, given the backdrop of the COVID 19 pandemic and its massive negative impact on the economy on this small but wealthy island republic. Out of a population of nearly 5.85 million on election day, the number of registered voters stood at 2.65 million. It was no surprise that in a nation with a reputation of unmatchable discipline, the voting was an orderly process. In conformity with rules each voter was masked, safe distancing was scrupulously maintained, and their hands were sanitized as they entered the booths. The elderly, who needed it, were provided assistance. The electorate returned what has been assessed as a sophisticated, calibrated and mature outcome. It re-elected the incumbent People’s Action Party (PAP) to power with a sufficiently strong enough mandate to help it pull the nation out of the crisis. At the same time, it also created a diversity in the legislature that would ensure that the government did not have a blank cheque for unrestricted authority.

Digital Divide Exposes Class Divide in Nepal Schools

Nepal’s education system was in crisis long before the pandemic hit. But with schools closed now for four straight months, remote learning has also exposed the class divide in access to education.

Relevance of US Peace Corps in Post-COVID World

I have had 5-decade long and happy association with the Peace Corps since I was a 7th grade student in the hills of Nepal. My wonderful Peace Corps teachers were instrumental in helping transform my life. And the 4000+ Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Nepal have contributed immensely to my country’s development.

How will COVID-19 Affect Women Entrepreneurs?

Two years ago, Aarti started a small business selling traditional handicrafts online, supporting artisans based in rural Karnataka. After an initial phase of struggle, she had a steady stream of orders and was looking to procure manufacturing equipment and scale the impact of her business by supporting more local talent.

COVID-19-Induced Policy Reforms in India: Overcoming Implementation Challenges

The global outbreak of Covid-19 has disrupted the food system throughout the world. From initial lockdown by the national governments to slow the spread of the Covid-19 to now opening of the economies have had food security implications for all players in the food system ranging for the farmers to consumers and the rest in between.

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