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Economics, Finance sector development, Health

COVID-19 and policy responses through the lens of global asset markets and capital flows

COVID-19 and policy responses through the lens of global asset markets and capital flows
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the resulting lockdowns have led to an unprecedented economic contraction and turbulence in financial markets, which initially caused the largest ever outflows of portfolio capital from emerging market economies (EMEs). Globally, governments have responded to the crisis with substantial fiscal stimulus packages. In addition, central banks around the world have eased monetary policies, with many EME central banks also implementing quantitative easing (QE) measures for the first time.

Health, Water

COVID-19 reminds us to prioritize “water supply, sanitation, and hygiene” (WASH) to reduce child mortality

COVID-19 reminds us to prioritize “water supply, sanitation, and hygiene” (WASH) to reduce child mortality
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has registered 959,116 deaths worldwide as of 21 September 2020. While the number is alarming, it is still not large compared with the 5.2 million children who died due to various causes in 2019, according to UNICEF. COVID-19 reminds us how much child mortality continues to be a significant challenge for global health and the global economy. In addition to the loss of human lives, the economic consequences are also significant.

Finance sector development, Governance and public sector management, Health, Regional cooperation and integration

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN

The impacts of COVID-19 on financial stability and regional financial safety nets in ASEAN
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is making strong efforts to maintain financial stability amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, mostly through national financial emergency measures for each member state. As a region, ASEAN has not yet formed a regional financial safety net to deal with a crisis like COVID-19.

Agriculture and natural resources, Health, Social development and protection

Enhancing agriculture potential in developing countries during the COVID-19 crisis

Enhancing agriculture potential in developing countries during the COVID-19 crisis
Much of the displaced labor force from urban centers is moving back to rural homes due to closures from restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is important that this displaced labor force is put in a working environment and kept engaged, specifically in the agricultural sector, so that such the young and energetic in the workforce are not left out. A disgruntled labor force without financial support might turn to unwanted or illegal activities.

Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia

COVID-19 hitting migration and remittances hard in developing Asia
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has devastated economies worldwide, slashing jobs and incomes. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) (2020a) estimates that employment in Asia and the Pacific will fall by as much as 167 million jobs in 2020 should containment measures last 6 months from when the outbreak first intensified in the respective countries. In turn, wage incomes in the region are projected to fall from $359 billion to $550 billion.

Health, Poverty, Social development and protection

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen

Barefoot doctor 2.0: Making it happen
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%.

Governance and public sector management, Health

Rare diseases in Asia and the Pacific must be tackled too

Rare diseases in Asia and the Pacific must be tackled too
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.

Economics, Health, Industry and trade

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19

Empowering Thai SMEs to join global value chains: Policy priorities under COVID-19
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.

Economics, Environment, Health, Social development and protection

ESG investment growth amid the COVID-19 crisis

ESG investment growth amid the COVID-19 crisis
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).

Economics, Environment, Finance sector development, Health

COVID-19 highlights the need to strengthen environmental risk management and scale-up sustainable finance and investment across Asia

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.