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Social Development and Poverty

Untold side of Asia’s poverty story and SDGs

Untold side of Asia’s poverty story and SDGs
On 25–27 September, less than 3 weeks from now, heads of state of 192 nations will sign up for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as the new global development agenda. Notwithstanding such an important change, poverty eradication will remain the most important goal and Asia is expected to continue its dominant role in attaining this goal for the world.

Social Development and Poverty, Water

Extending the reach of flood insurance

Rice fields submerged by floods in Pakistan
Over the past few weeks, South Asian countries have been suffering torrential rains and devastating floods and landslides, exacerbated by Cyclone Komen, leaving over 100 dead and over a million displaced from Pakistan to Myanmar. The annual monsoon season in the region, normally a lifeline for farmers, this year resulted in floods that have caused severe damage to crops.

Social Development and Poverty

Asia and Pacific region post-2015 priorities, MDG8, and Global Partnerships

Asia Pacific post-2015 priorities, MDG8 and Global Partnerships
Any contemporary story on development in the Asia and Pacific region begins with reflection on the massive gains achieved in the fight against poverty. The incidence of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 54.5% in 1990 to 20.7% in 2010, with the number of extreme poor declining from 1.48 billion to 733 million. This precipitous decline in poverty incidence has been accompanied by tremendous gains in access to health and education.

Social Development and Poverty

Preparing for life after the MDGs

Preparing for life after the MDGs
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.

Social Development and Poverty

Eradicating absolute poverty by 2030 – are we aiming too low?

Eradicating absolute poverty by 2030 – are we aiming too low?
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.

Social Development and Poverty

The relevance of $1.25 – recounting the poor

The relevance of $1.25 – recounting the poor
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.

Social Development and Poverty

Giving Asia’s elderly care and dignity

Giving Asia’s elderly care and dignity
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.

Social Development and Poverty

BRICS countries emerging as major aid donors

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.

Social Development and Poverty

How to accelerate the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals

How to accelerate the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals
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.

Social Development and Poverty

The emerging ACI economies: Does a rising tide lift all boats?

ACI-Thumbnail
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.