Asia-Pacific

Slums, Camps, Terrorism: Experts Worry about Coronavirus Hitting South Asia

As coronavirus makes its way through different continents, countries, and communities around the world having claimed more than 23,000 lives, experts are ringing alarm bells about the implications of the disease as it hits South Asia, which hosts almost 2 billion of the world’s population

India’s Trinity of Challenges

The exigencies of combatting the coronavirus pandemic on a war-footing -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown for 21 days to break the chain of transmission -- has certainly deflected attention from equally pressing challenges confronting India. The nation’s capital witnessed horrific communal violence when the US President was visiting India, triggering international outrage, including from the South. The economy also deserves attention as growth has been decelerating since 2016-17. With the virus shock, the pace of expansion will contract as the economy shuts down and slides into recession.

Far From Home During a Pandemic

Nepali workers in Qatar who have been quarantined in a camp that has been closed off for two weeks say that aside from concerns about jobs and health, they are now also worried about their families back home.

East Asian Lessons for Controlling Covid-19

By the third week of March 2020, the number of Covid-19 deaths in Italy had overtaken the number of deaths in China. Authorities all over the world are restricting the movements of their populations as part of efforts to control the spread of Covid-19.

Fisherfolk Fix Both Food and Climate by Closing Fishing Grounds

Samsul sounded very happy last Monday (Mar. 16) when recounting his experience of catching crabs worth more than $60 in a single day. 

Air Pollution: A Problem We Can Solve in Our Lifetime

Over the past few years, worsening air quality in India—and in north India specifically—has awakened policy makers and civil society to take urgent action.

State Intervention Necessary to Overcome Covid-19 Threats

It is now clear that most East Asian government responses to novel coronavirus or Covid-19 outbreaks have been effective. In Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan, the number infected have remained relatively low despite their proximity and vulnerability, while containment in China and South Korea has been impressive.

I Am Generation Equality: Storytelling for Equality

When you flip through grade one Bangla school textbooks there is very little written about the progress women have made in Bangladesh since the Beijing Conference for Women in 1995.

Polycephaly* in Afghanistan: Failure of the US or Curse of History

The fourth and last presidential election in Afghanistan on 28 September 2019 was yet another setback to the democratic process. Not only did it take months for the Independent Election Commission to announce the results but they were again marred by allegations of massive fraud that culminated with two candidates declaring themselves as winners.

Changing Weather Patterns Spell Doom for Unprepared Pakistan Farmers

Unpredictable weather patterns in the form of excessive or prolonged rainfall are wreaking havoc for farmers across Pakistan as sowing and harvesting periods are severely affected.

Nepal’s Female Guides Juggle Work and Home

Nepal’s trekking industry has been dominated by male guides, but a growing number of women are entering the profession as their reputation for reliability spreads.

Rural Poverty, Employment and Disability

About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. Disability is part of the human condition, and almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life, and those who survive into old age will experience increasing difficulties in functioning. Here the focus is on empirical validation of whether disabilities are associated with economic hardships through loss of employment and consequently impoverishment in rural India. The motivation stems from continuing neglect of health in the budgetary allocations –including the allocations for 2020-21.

Why Pakistan Isn’t Taking that Final Step towards Polio Eradication

Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar, the coordinator for Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Centre for Polio Eradication, has sleepless nights thinking about what needs to be done for his country to eradicate polio.

Air Pollution in South Asia: Biomass Burning Emissions & its Impact

A young adult man requires 15 m3 or 15 kg of air, 1.5 liters or 1.5 kg of water and 0.75 kg of solid food every day. This indicates around 87% of our everyday basic requirement is air.

The Future Pacific Island Children Want

For 13-year-old Karen Semens, growing up on Pohnpei -- one of the four main island states in the Federated States of Micronesia, which comprises of more than 600 islands in the western Pacific Ocean -- the main challenge is being a girl. “In our culture, girls don’t have the same rights and opportunities nor do they get credit and recognition for their achievements as boys do. This prevents us from speaking our minds. For example in family meetings, only men make the decisions. I would like all girls to be treated as equals and have a say in decision making,” the 8th grade pupil from the Ohmine Public Elementary school in Pohnpei, tells IPS.


Indonesia’s Laws Ineffective against Human Trafficking

When her uncle offered her an opportunity to work in Jakarta almost a decade ago, the then 15-year-old Afra Burga Ambui immediately agreed and soon she was boarding a two-hour flight to the country’s capital and away from her village on Flores Island in East Nusa Tenggara, southern Indonesia.

The Italian Pyramid: Scientific Observatory at the Top of the World

Hello! Are you Italian? No, I’m from Nepal. Oops. Kaji Bista is the staff manager of the Ev-K2-CNR’s innovative Pyramid International Laboratory/Observatory (known as the Italian Pyramid) at 5,050 m a.s.l. located in Lobouche.

India’s Orange Farmers Search for Sustainable Agriculture

Hillol Datta, 26, travelled for two days from Kolkata to Jampui Hills – a picturesque hill station in the north eastern province of India – to see its fruit-laden orange orchards. However, after driving for several hours, all the young traveller saw were bald patches along the hill slopes and scattered rows of areca (nut) palm trees.

Women Bear the Burden of India’s Water Crisis

Across cities and villages in India, an impending water crisis is at our doorsteps. India will face a water shortfall of almost 50 percent by 2030, if our water use continues its current pattern. Last year, Chennai and Bangalore showed us what water scarcity looks like; the statistics are no longer just numbers on paper, they have become our reality.

Nepal’s Baby Export

A major discrepancy between Nepal government and foreign records of the number of Nepali children adopted in North America and Europe has exposed a trafficking ring that involves various child welfare agencies in Kathmandu.

What Future for the Rohingyas after the ICJ Ruling?

In a groundbreaking ruling in January 2020, the International Court of Justice demanded that Myanmar halt all measures that contribute to the genocide of the Rohingya community.

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