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Over 50 years ago, a pioneering medical system was launched in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Known as the “barefoot doctors” scheme, the program liberalized healthcare beyond doctors and allowed some 1.5 million community health workers to practice basic medicine after 3–6 months of training. This effectively created a national network of healthcare services for the very first time, increasing rural healthcare coverage to 90%.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the world together, although in a somewhat disturbing manner. Every individual on the planet is hoping for relief from the pandemic via a cure for the afflicted and a vaccine for prevention. Notwithstanding the urgency of addressing this immediate problem, the world economy and society should use this challenge to undertake initiatives that last longer and hopefully forever.
By Ritu Jain. Posted July 20, 2020
Unlike the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), few people will have heard of the rare disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). It is an inherited genetic condition that affects the skin and can be fatal during infancy or early childhood for those suffering from its most severe forms. The condition causes the skin, both outside as well as inside the body, to blister and tear easily. Since the skin is unable to withstand normal wear and tear, it gets repeatedly wounded and the cells can become cancerous.
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, Global Warming of 1.5 ºC, notes the importance of mobilizing green finance for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and preventing catastrophic climate change. In line with this, some countries have been implementing policies to support green bonds. Green bonds are debt securities whose proceeds are used to fund environmental projects, including climate change mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, unlike conventional bonds, green bonds finance projects with clear environmental benefits (ICMA 2018).
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are significant contributors to economic activity and employment worldwide, and Thailand is no exception. In Thailand, SMEs represent the vast majority of firms and employ the bulk of the domestic workforce. According to the Office of SMEs Promotion (OSMEP 2019), in 2018, approximately 3 million companies were classed as SMEs in the country, comprising 99.8% of all companies. SMEs also accounted for 14 million jobs, or 86% of total employment.
By Sayuri Shirai. Posted June 24, 2020
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak has transformed the global monetary policy landscape. The sharp global economic slowdown caused by the spread of the virus and the various countermeasures embarked on by governments under states of emergency (such as quarantines, policies to restrict mobility, school closures, and restrictions and limitations on business operations) prompted many central banks to implement substantial monetary easing from March 2020 along with massive ﬁscal stimulus measures. As a result of these measures, a growing number of central banks have faced the effective (or zero) lower bound or approached it in their policy rates.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment is critical for achieving inclusive growth in Asia and can play a critical role in reducing the income inequality caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia
Like the rest of the world, Asia has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. While some countries have been able to contain the spread of the virus relatively well, the disruption of supply chains, sharp decline in global demand, and the large-scale withdrawal of capital have led to severe economic contractions across the region.
By Pitchaya Sirivunnabood. Posted May 25, 2020
Asia is advancing toward becoming a gray society, though some countries are in the early stages and some are more advanced. The longevity revolution is being demonstrated through longer life expectancies due to medical innovation and improvements in medical care, as well as people having healthier lifestyles. Meanwhile, a continuously decreasing trend in fertility rates is being witnessed across the region. These two factors combined create the demographic transition of population aging. This demographic transition is not new, and its socioeconomic impacts have spread widely in many economies in Asia and the Pacific.
By Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary. Posted May 18, 2020
The recent collapse in oil prices in the global market was caused by a combination of supply and demand issues as well as uncertainty about the future, and has resulted in a crash in financial markets. But what are the reasons behind this collapse, and what impacts will it have on oil-exporting and oil-importing economies?
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- Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen
- Achieving a peaceful world: What can intellectuals do to make it happen?
- Rare diseases in Asia and the Pacific must be tackled too
- Achieving policy objectives for green bonds in ASEAN
- Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19