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  • Over the past couple of decades, no one can deny that the Asia and Pacific region has represented a remarkable success story. Absolute poverty levels have fallen significantly and the region is on course to achieve a number of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
  • Indonesia has made impressive gains in poverty reduction in recent years, but some unfavorable childhood nutrition figures bode ill for the economy and the country’s achievement of a key Millennium Development Goal (MDG).
  • Nana lives in a remote village. She is married with three children. Both she and her husband are farmers. Nana went to school up to grade 3. Every now and then, the households in her community are asked to attend a meeting. One day, the village leader requested her to attend a meeting the next day.
  • Myanmar opened a new chapter in its history in November 2010 when it adopted its open-economy policy. Since then, an impressive array of reforms have been implemented. However, Myanmar’s sustainable and inclusive growth depends on it maintaining this momentum during its transition —particularly inflows of foreign direct investment.
  • Rapid and dynamic changes in Southeast Asia including population growth and movement, as well as booming urbanization, have contributed to the complexity of combating the spread of tropical diseases. Now the region is faced with an even greater challenge: climate change
  • Feeding the world is becoming an increasingly complex task. Providing all our daily bread—or rice—requires grappling with intense competition for natural resources, producing more from less land and dealing with changing dietary habits. But meeting food needs is not just about quantity. Quality is also important. Along with daily minimum calorie requirements, people also need vital micronutrients from their meals.  High levels of micronutrient deficiencies, a phenomenon we call “hidden hunger” remains pervasive, particularly in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
  • Is changing 9,000 years of eating habits the solution to vitamin A deficiency in poor communities in Asia?
  • Thomas Piketty, a young French economist, has redefined the relationship between capital and inequalities in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
  • Access to household toilets is often seen as just a water and sanitation issue or a public health concern. But the recent murders of two young Indian girls have highlighted another aspect—women’s safety and security.
  • The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens.
  • Very few young doctors and other health professionals want to work in distant geographic locations and this preference for working in urban centers won’t change in the future and might only increase.This problem calls for innovative solutions to bring health services to populations in hard-to-reach locations and Information Technology provides some viable options which need to be scaled up and integrated into public health systems to bridge the rural-urban gap.
  • 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. However, new challenges have emerged while remaining ones are complex. Meanwhile, the 2015 deadline for achieving the MDGs is almost upon us, raising the question: where do we go from here?
  • With some 60% of the global youth population living in Asia and the Pacific, young people have consistently and increasingly shown they are capable of addressing urgent development problems through their innovative ideas.
  • I see dead people. No, I don’t mean ghosts like the ones a young Haley Joel Osment could see in the 1999 hit film The Sixth Sense. I mean actual dead bodies. I see them all the time, victims of the seemingly lawless and definitely dangerous free-for-all that is driving on Cambodia’s national roads.
  • Social protection programs are increasingly important for supporting vulnerable groups in Asia, including the poor and elderly, but fragmented delivery of services is undermining their impact and effectiveness.
  • The conventional view of wage gaps between men and women is that they have been steadily narrowing over recent decades and this trend will inevitably continue as women achieve higher education levels and enter areas of the workforce which have been dominated by males in the past. Unfortunately recent evidence from Indonesia suggests that pay parity between the sexes remains some way off.  
  • The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, (MERS) is keeping infectious diseases experts on alert lately, although the World Health Organization (WHO) hasn’t declared MERS a global emergency.
  • ADB, World Bank and several others have launched the iChallenge in an effort to crowd source ideas for indicators that can measure government capacity and performance.
  • The rise of mega-regionals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) suggest that the world trade system is fragmenting to appear more like a jigsaw puzzle than a spaghetti bowl. How do we resolve the growing mess?
  • When we look around the world there often seems a huge divide between young people and governments. While youth are frequently on the front line of civilian protests, criticizing the state, those in power often brand them as mere troublemakers and ingrates. How can we narrow this gap and help both sides better understand each other?
  • As the world marks International Day of Action for Women's Health, maternal deaths are an uncomfortable reminder that much work still needs to be done. Indonesia is a case in point. While it is one of the fast growing economic powerhouses in Asia it is also experiencing a worrying rise in maternal deaths.
  • Why are there so few women in senior management or “at the top” of the pyramid when Asia has had more female state leaders than even Europe? Is it a lack of education? Is it age old culture and tradition? Are the boys’ networks keeping women out? And why does this continue when there is clear evidence that more women in leadership is good for the bottom line?
  • The messages from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are clear—human induced climate change is happening, climate impacts on humans and natural systems will be significant, and dramatic mitigation needs to happen very soon.
  • In ensuring the success of social protection programs, who benefits from public transfers is as important as how much or what type of support is provided. Tajikistan offers a case in point.
  • Debating empowers young people, builds oral presentation skills, develops confidence in public speaking, and trains debaters to listen, assess and form arguments. Recognizing this, ADB over the last four years has been supporting youth debates in Asia and the Pacific.
  • We’ve wrapped up our 47th Annual Meeting in Astana today with plenty of food for thought on what lies ahead for our vast, diverse region.
  • The ADB Annual Meeting is themed “Connecting Asia with the Changing World,” but it is just as much about connecting the world with a changing Asia. Asian success stories have broken down the old distinctions between rich countries and poor, developing and developing, development assistance providers and aid recipients.
  • Almost 1,500 years ago in the sixth and seventh century, southern Kazakhstan was part of the famous Silk Road that carried goods, ideas and cultural influences from as far as China to Europe.
  • Where are Asia’s economies headed to in the short and long term? What shape are they in to withstand future financial crises? And how can they respond to the yawning rich-poor divide, now a key concern among Asian and global policymakers? These were some of the key points discussed over the first two days of business at our 47th Annual Meeting, held in Astana, Kazakhstan.

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