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By Cyn-Young Park. Posted July 23, 2014
The establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the United Nations in 2001 was a defining moment. It rallied a global effort in the fight against poverty, hunger, and disease, while promoting universal education, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.
By Indu Bhushan. Posted June 24, 2014
The post-2015 development agenda is leaning toward a goal of eradicating absolute poverty by 2030. The World Bank’s recently approved corporate strategy has the same goal. I believe, however, that this target is absolutely meaningless for the Asia and Pacific region.
By Anuradha Rajivan. Posted June 13, 2014
The millennium development goals (MDGs), which end in 2015, are a remarkable set of agreed global aspirations, with the world community committing to eradicate extreme poverty for the first time in history. In the 19th century around 80% of the population was poor with affluence generally uncommon. Over the last two hundred years, however, thinking about poverty has changed dramatically. Where once poverty was considered the norm, governments now use public policy to make it the exception.
By Sri Wening Handayani. Posted May 27, 2014
There is a seemingly hidden problem for Asia in providing economic, social and emotional security for the elderly. But drawing on the experiences of more developed economies, I think there is a silver lining behind this—an opportunity if actions are taken now to provide care and to give dignity to the elderly in Asia.
By Cinnamon Dornsife. Posted October 25, 2013
Are the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, South Africa) new aid donors? No, they are long-standing providers of foreign assistance, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) commencing its foreign assistance programs in 1950, Russia in 1955, Brazil in 1960, and South Africa in 1968. However, the BRICS’ foreign assistance programs have grown in recent years, some dramatically. Though the BRICS countries are grouped together, the PRC is by far the largest and most significant player. In January 2011, the Financial Times reported that in 2009–2010, PRC lending to the poorest states exceeded that lent by the World Bank.
By Venkatachalam Anbumozhi. Posted October 8, 2013
On 5 April 2013, the world’s largest and most successful anti-poverty campaign reached the 1,000-day mark toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. The MDGs were established in 2000, when leaders gathered at the United Nations to pledge to cut global poverty and hunger by half, fight disease, reduce child mortality rates, and expand education and economic opportunities for girls and women. This was not the first time world leaders had made lofty promises to reduce poverty, and cynics expected the MDGs to be abandoned as too ambitious. Instead, MDGs have helped set national and global priorities, mobilize action, and achieve remarkable results in poverty reduction.
By Robert Z. Lawrence. Posted June 18, 2013
Over the past 20 years, the emerging economies of ASEAN, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India (ACI) have enjoyed spectacular economic growth. Together they have tripled their share of global GDP measured on a purchasing power parity basis from 11.2% in 1980 to 31.3% in 2010. By 2030, based on current consensus forecasts, their combined share could reach almost half of world output. If these forecasts are correct, by 2030, Singapore will achieve United States (US) living standards, the PRC will be on the verge of developed country status (about 60% of US levels), and relative to the US, India should be just above where the PRC is today in per capita terms.
By Juzhong Zhuang. Posted November 30, 2012
Developing Asia’s impressive growth continues, but faces a new challenge—inequality on the rise.1 Over the last few decades, the region has lifted people out of poverty at an unprecedented rate. But more recent experience contrasts with the “growth with equity” story that characterized the transformation of the newly industrialized economies in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 12 economies that account for more than four-fifths of the region’s population, income disparities expanded during the last two decades—despite the region’s world-beating performance in raising average incomes and reducing poverty.
By Muhammad Yunus. Posted September 4, 2012
Grameen Bank (Village Bank) in Bangladesh is the world’s most well-known microfinance institution. It lends $1.5 billion a year to 8.4 million people. The establishment of Grameen Bank shows that we do not always have to accept the systems we are given. Sometimes we have to think the impossible if we are really going to change the world. My first venture into such small-scale lending was not carefully thought out or based on any previous research; rather, it was an instinctive response made when I came face-to-face with gross injustice. In 1976, I was teaching economics in the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh.
By Durreen Shahnaz. Posted June 8, 2012
The time has come to look at “social enterprises”—a form of capitalism that includes social and environmental objectives in addition to the profit motive. More than a century ago, Henry Ford asserted that “a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” The world is now overrun by such “poor businesses.” The heedless pursuit of financial gains may produce happy management teams and shareholders, but it also results in an unhappy planet for businesses to operate in. The solution is not for these businesses to give some money to charity, or to get employees to play “builder” or “teacher” for a day as part of so-called “corporate social responsibility” initiatives.
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