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The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic discriminates in effect against the poor and the vulnerable, who have weaker immune systems and lack access to treatment and social support due to their economic status. The virus and social-isolation measures have caused a large increase in unemployment for lower-income segments of the population and depressed demand in industries with lower-income workers. It has been estimated that an additional 88 million–115 million people were plunged into extreme poverty in Asia in 2020, a figure that may rise to 150 million by the end of 2021 (Dartanto 2021: 7).
By Michael C. Huang. Posted May 28, 2021
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, of which economic losses are estimated at $221 billion (EM-DAT), making it the most costly natural disaster recorded since 1900. The earthquake itself did not cause significant damage or casualties, but the subsequent 5–20 meter tsunami hit northern coastal areas, washing away townships and destroying the cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. To date, the recovery process is still ongoing to restore industries and economic activities to their pre-disaster levels.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has created challenges for tax administrations and is constraining tax revenue in many countries. Its impacts have caused the global economy to slow down, leading to reduced tax collection. However, the pandemic has also changed social habits and encouraged people to use digital technologies.
Global climate change caused by human activities will continue to be catastrophic for humanity. In particular, climate change is having serious impacts on the world’s water systems (United Nations 2020), and changes in these systems can have an enormous impact on people’s lives. This is because water plays a critical role in the very existence of all forms of life on earth as the foundation of human well-being and prosperity (Asian Development Bank 2020) and a source of life and livelihoods.
An examination of the published journal articles on development economics reveals a striking pattern—very few are devoted to the analysis of sanitation interventions and development. In a recent systematic review of all sanitation-related articles from the top-12 highest-ranking journals on development economics (Revilla et al. 2021), we attempt to understand the linkages between sanitation and development based on current qualitative and quantitative empirical work.
Rethinking the impact of the lockdown on micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in the Philippines
By Shigehiro Shinozaki. Posted April 23, 2021
The National Capital Region (NCR) and four provinces in the Philippines have returned to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since 29 March 2021 due to surging cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The ECQ is the strictest measure for prohibiting the movement of people for nonessential purposes and strengthening curfews. The Philippine government moved to the ECQ, or lockdown, to contain the spread of COVID-19 quickly after the pandemic was identified in March 2020.
By Sayuri Shirai. Posted April 16, 2021
ESG investment aims to encourage companies to consider environment (E), social (S), and corporate governance (G) issues by raising their long-term corporate value. It is becoming indispensable for filling the funding shortfalls needed to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the global temperature increase this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, and desirably within 1.5 degrees Celsius, as well as to encourage the transformation of corporate behavior toward net-zero emissions.
Current account surpluses have persisted in a number of Asian and European economies throughout the global financial crisis and thereafter. Along with Germany, Japan has a decades-long history of recording current account surpluses. Due to rapid improvements in the competitiveness of its manufacturing sector, Japan has almost continuously recorded trade surpluses since the mid-1960s, and as a result, record current account surpluses (Shirakawa 2011).
Income growth, urbanization, nutritional awareness, and supermarket revolutions in Asia are fueling demand for high-value agricultural products (HVPs), such as vegetables and fruits. This change in consumer demand can provide new agri-food market opportunities, which in turn can contribute to numerous Sustainable Development Goals through increased rural income, rural livelihood improvement, and rural poverty reduction.
Green bonds (GBs) are being used around the world as a financial tool for raising capital for projects that can benefit the environment (World Bank 2019). The money raised by GB issuances can fund investment in programs that enhance adaptation and mitigate the effects of climate change, such as projects for clean energy, public transport, and clean water. The GB concept was proposed by the World Bank in its Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change in 2008 to help countries around the world raise capital for strategies for solving the problems of air pollution and global climate change (Trang 2015).
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