Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstall the House of Representatives and appoint-- after a prolonged and nasty legal battle-- a new Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, there is high probability that a government of national unity will be put together in Nepal.
“The government should open schools, even if it’s for an hour, to facilitate some student-teacher interaction. Most teachers feel that students should be encouraged to come to school.
One year after Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MoH) appealed to international organisations in the country to urgently supply a drug used to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth, a UN agency has delivered $1 million worth of contraceptives to prevent another shortage.
The third wave of Covid-19 is sweeping through Myanmar, from the high narrow buildings of the commercial capital Yangon to bamboo houses in rural areas.
Ongoing online sexual harassment of Muslim women through ‘Sulli Deals’, an auctioning app hosted by GitHub, has been reported to the authorities – but not before it called untold trauma to the targeted women.
Papua New Guinea (PNG), like many other Pacific Island countries, successfully held COVID-19 at bay last year, aided by early shutting of national borders. However, by March this year, the pandemic was surging in the most populous Pacific Island nation, and by July, it had reported 17,282 cases of the virus and 175 fatalities.
Between 2010 and 2020, many Pacific Islands and Territories have updated their traditional data collection processes, embracing new technologies. The island nations Kiribati and Vanuatu, among others, successfully switched to computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), a new data management system and a survey monitoring dashboard. The innovations implemented with support from the Pacific Community helped to weather the impact of the pandemic on census activities and to become fit for the purpose of tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Youth advocates from Asian countries called for an overhaul of a system that excluded young people from participation in policymaking.
During an interaction with parliamentarians from 23 countries, youth representatives considered an enabling political framework to be the most crucial reform required to remove inequities.
The Biden administration made a decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan based on the Trump-Taliban agreement. Their last combat soldier may have already left. There is nothing to argue about!
When the Bangladesh Forest Department felled Basanti Rema’s banana orchard, Rema, a Garo indigenous forest-dweller of Madhupur Forest, felt she was living a nightmare.
Rema, from Pegmari village in Madhupur, Tangail district, had cultivated the banana plants on half an acre in the Madhupur Forest. But the Forest Department claimed that the land on which the bananas were cultivated belonged to the department.
Over the last few years, the world has witnessed accelerated action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), especially SDG 5
on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This has also led to significant interest in menstrual health and hygiene management (MHHM) as a critical factor in girls’ education and women’s participation in many spheres of life.
For well over a century Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, has been known to the world as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ for its multifaceted attractions. That is until blurb writers ruined it all with hyperbolic epithets that obscured the country’s magnetic charms, which attracted visitors from around the globe.
Two Indian women, one Muslim and the other Dalit (former untouchables), separated by culture and geography, have found common ground in leading change in conflict-torn South Sudan.
Rani Akter, a mother of five, usually works as a domestic helper in Dhaka’s Zikatola area. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Bangladesh last March, her employers asked her not to come to their homes for fear of infection.
“I lost my work in three houses one after the other, which became a nightmare for me. My rich employers did not allow me in their homes as they thought that I might carry the invisible virus,” Akter told IPS.
Madhuri Roy left the famous Kamakhya temple in Guwahati, Assam. She had sought the goddess’s blessings for the safe delivery of her youngest daughter's baby, which was due in a few weeks. Shanty shops lined the temple outside and Roy’s eyes fell on a stack of black rice packets. All through her daughter’s pregnancy she had craved her childhood favourite black rice pudding. But during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown Roy could not procure it even though Meghalaya, her Himalayan home state, grew it.
Robby Nena is one of the many farmers and fishermen on the frontline of climate change in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), where coastal flooding and erosion, variable and heavy rainfall, increased temperature, droughts and other extreme weather events are becoming all too common.
With health systems at a breaking point, hospitals at capacity and desperate family members searching for oxygen for loved ones, the devastating second wave of COVID-19 that has swept across South Asia has felt ¬surreal. Official figures have indicated record-breaking daily coronavirus cases and deaths, not only in South Asia, but across the entire Asia-Pacific region during the latest surge. As devastating as it has been, the truth is we may never know how many people have died during the pandemic.
In 2020, Southeast Asian countries were already facing varied challenges that affected the region’s food supplies and prices. The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic later in the year exacerbated the region’s food insecurity and poverty. Southeast Asian countries need to take a hard look at food security, even as the double challenges — climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic — continue to fester.
“Drought is on the verge of becoming the next pandemic and there is no vaccine to cure it.”
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told the first United Nations General Assembly meeting on desertification and drought in a decade, that his country’s report card will show it is well on track to meet its land restoration commitments.
Malleshwar Rao, 27, spent his early years as a child labourer in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Soon after finishing school at a local ashram, where the children of poor parents, sex workers and orphans studied, the 9-year-old would rush to a local construction site to join his parents who would be toiling in the harsh tropical sun to construct buildings as daily wage earners. The supervisor would assign Rao simpler tasks and his extra income would help his parents feed him and his younger brother.