Asia-Pacific

Buffalo Revive Local Economy in Remote Bay of Bengal Islands

Visitors might be confused after arriving in Char Chatkimarai, a tiny island of eight square miles situated in the extreme south of Bangladesh close to the Bay of Bengal. Many might think they have just landed in an amazing part of a big national park of buffalo.

South Asia Faces Fury of Floods

Aid agencies warn of a serious unfolding humanitarian crisis as floodwaters continue to inundate new areas of three South Asian countries, forcing millions of people to flee their homes for shelters.

Women Slowly Break Barriers in Bangladesh

When one thinks of Bangladesh, its political leadership naturally comes to mind as the leaders of the country’s major parties are women, including the Prime Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Speaker of the National Parliament.

Women Build Rural Infrastructure in Bangladesh

Breaking all the social barriers and taboos, poor women in Bangladesh are now engaged in rural development works across the country as labourers.

One Earth: Why the World Needs Indigenous Communities to Steward Their Lands

“Showing them a picture-book crow, I intone ‘kaak’ in Bengali, the State language. While others repeat in chorus, the tribal Santhali first-graders respond with a blank look. They know the crow only as ‘koyo’. They’ll happily roll out glass marbles to count but ask them how many they counted, they remain silent because in their mother tongue, one is mit, two is bariah - very different sounding from the Bengali ek and du.”

Collectively Managing South Asia’s Stressed Water Resources

Experts and policymakers here say regional cooperation is a must to resolve long-standing water problems in South Asian countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal, and to harness the full value of water.

Water Is Precious, Fragile and Dangerous – It Can Sustain or Destroy

Water is precious, fragile, and dangerous. It can sustain or destroy.

Has Disability Risen among the Elderly?

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016 (or RPD Act) is laudable in its intent and procedural detail, but mostly silent on disabilities among the elderly. Indeed, for this reason alone, it is arguable that its overarching goal—“The appropriate Government shall ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy the right to equality, life with dignity and respect for his or her integrity equally with others” —is mere rhetoric, if not a pipe dream.

Last Mile Connectivity to Bangladesh’s Impoverished North

Life for Bangladesh’s rural people, particularly in its remote north, is still miserable. Seasonal flooding, river erosion, and the low quality of rural infrastructure and lack of connectivity have made things harder for poor northerners.

Value of Water Is on the Rise

In the wake of recent water-related disasters in Bangladesh, including water-logging and floods that displaced thousands of families, a high-level consultation in the capital Dhaka on valuing water will look at ways to optimize water use and solutions to water-related problems facing South Asia.

Sinking Island Seeks Seat in Security Council

The Maldives, one of the world’s low-lying, small island developing states (SIDS) -- threatened with extinction because of a sea-level rise-- is shoring up its coastal defences in anticipation of the impending calamity.

Parliamentarians Study Nexus of Youth, Refugees and Development

Held for the first time in the Arab world, an annual meeting of Asian and Arab Parliamentarians examined how regional conflicts hinder the development of effective policies to achieve sustainable development, particularly as they generate large numbers of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants.

In the New World Order, Asia Is Rising, Says Pakistan’s UN Envoy

When Maleeha Lodhi arrived at the United Nations in 2015 as Pakistan’s ambassador, she brought with her a broad background in academia, journalism and diplomacy: a Ph.D. in political science from the London School of Economics, where she later taught political sociology; the first woman to edit major newspapers in Pakistan; ambassador to the United States twice and once as Pakistan’s high commissioner in London.

Digitizing Family Planning: The Way of the Future

Online shopping may have its pros and cons, but when it comes to buying products that have an invisible morality tag, it’s the safest possible option, believes Franklin Paul.

The Arab Youth Bulge and the Parliamentarians

More than ever before, the Arab region now registers an unprecedented youth population growth while facing huge challenges such as extremely high unemployment rates --more than half of all regional jobless population--, and inadequate education and health provision, in particular among young women.

For India’s Urban Marginalized, Reproductive Healthcare Still a Distant Dream

In a semi-lit room of a southern Chennai neighborhood, a group of women sit in a circle around a table surrounded by large cardboard boxes of "Nirodh" – India’s most popular condom.

Three-Zone Biosecurity Offers New Hope to Indonesian Farmers

Poultry farmer Bambang Sutrisno Setiawan had long heard about biosecurity but never gave serious thought to it, even when the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 forced him to cull thousands of his layer chickens in 2003 and 2009.

The Asian Financial Crisis — 20 Years Later

It’s been 20 years since the Asian financial crisis struck in July 1997.   Since then there has been an even bigger global financial crisis, centred in the United States starting in 2008.  Will there be another crisis in the near future?

1997 Asian Crisis Lessons Lost

After months of withstanding speculative attacks on its national currency, the Thai central bank let it ‘float’ on 2 July 1997, allowing its exchange rate to drop suddenly. Soon, currencies and stock markets throughout the region came under pressure as easily reversible short-term capital inflows took flight in herd-like fashion. By mid-July 1997, the currencies of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines had also fallen precipitously after being floated, with stock market price indices following suit.

Time Stands Still for Nepal’s Conflict Victims

“Reconstruction and reconciliation require finances and physical structure, but the families of the victims of the conflict first and foremost need their integrity protected. Physical and financial compensation mean little without justice,” wrote Suman Adhikari nearly 11 years ago, during a ceasefire in Nepal’s Maoist insurgency.

Southeast Asia: From Miracle To Debacle

The World Bank and other influential international financial institutions and development agencies have been touting Southeast Asian (SEA) newly industrializing countries as models for emulation, especially by African developing countries seeking to accelerate their development transformations. But these recommendations are usually based on misleading analysis of their rapid growth and structural transformation.

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