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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 Jayant Menon. Posted April 28, 2020
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its bigger counterpart ASEAN+3, comprising the 10 ASEAN members and the People’s Republic of China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea (ROK), have been slow to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While they have been strenuously ramping up their efforts, more needs to be done, and quickly. There are many things they can do immediately, such as employing their machinery to increase consultation and cooperation to curb contagion—both medical and economic—and limit beggar-thy-neighbor policies.
The number of COVID-19 cases in many Asian developing countries is surprisingly low, but this may simply reflect inadequate levels of testing. The high correlation between rates of testing and per capita GDP strongly suggests that lower-income countries face a number of barriers to carrying out adequate testing. This raises the risk of rapid increases in infection rates in the future and points to the need for support for additional testing, as well as for increases in medical spending and general fiscal measures.
By Pitchaya Sirivunnabood. Posted April 9, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly become a severe global crisis, with a drastic spread in less than 2 months and shifts in its epicenter. Almost 1 million people have been infected with the virus around the world, and the number of deaths has shot up rapidly and continues to grow.
Developed countries can use advanced social security systems to protect households from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but developing countries face a bigger challenge. They typically have a large informal sector and limited social security coverage, which hinder the delivery of assistance at short notice. Yet, developing Asia is better equipped to cushion the economic impact of the current crisis compared to the global financial crisis of 2008.
Medical experts and institutions tell us that a critical but simple lifesaving action to reduce vulnerability to COVID-19 is literally in our own hands—regular handwashing with soap. Public awareness efforts underscore the need for greater behavioral compliance.
By Grant B. Stillman. Posted March 11, 2020
Unimaginable setbacks to Japan nine years ago from the triple disasters of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima emergency were used to pioneer new approaches to regional development and integrated reconstruction to build back better, safer, and greener.
By Peter J. Morgan. Posted June 28, 2019
Education is a key driver for sustainable development (UNESCO 2018). However, the goal of realizing education for all in the Digital Age faces two major challenges. First, many countries and economies are still not ensuring quality education for all. Millions of children and youth still lack the necessary tools to realize their potential amid economic, political, and social strife. Second, with the emergence of the fourth Industrial Revolution and the growing use of automation, big data, and artificial intelligence, human labor is being substituted increasingly by machines or algorithms.
Indonesia’s subsidized rice program, RASKIN (also known as Operasi Pasar Khusus), constitutes the longest running and the largest in-kind transfer for poor households in Indonesia. In 2010, government expenditure on RASKIN accounted for 53% of the total household-targeted social assistance. What has been the impact of this program on child health in Indonesia? Our recent paper (Gupta and Huang 2018) is, in this regard, the first attempt in the literature to analyze this issue in the context of Indonesia.
The World Bank (2014) estimates that international remittances to developing countries reached $436 billion in 2014. Remittances to the East Asia and the Pacific region and the South Asia region account for the largest and second-largest shares in the world. The authors examine the impact of international remittances on poverty reduction to determine whether such remittances contributed to a reduction in various indicators of poverty.
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