Social Development and Poverty: Articles | Asian Development Bank

Social Development and Poverty: Articles

  • November 2010

    Roads that Move Mountains

    With new roads, rural people who live in the world's highest mountain range can access markets and increase their incomes. Baglung, Nepal - A Nepali geographer once observed that if it were possible to flatten all the mountains in his homeland, the country would be larger than the People's Republic of China. The farmers, traders, and workers who live in those hills hardly need a scientist's insight to know that they live in impossibly rugged territory. They experience it every day.
  • October 2010

    Cambodia: Bamboo Railways Give Way to Iron Silk Road

    A new regional railway brings hope for growth to Cambodians, and reminds older Cambodians of prosperous times before recent decades of conflict. Pursat, Cambodia - Cambodia's rail lines tell the story of the country's turbulent history. In Pursat, grandmother Uch Thorn remembers back to the 1950s and 1960s, when she was a young woman, and giant steam engines rumbled past her village. "Back then the rail service was good. Lots of people traveled on the trains, and we had nice stations," says Thorn.
  • August 2010

    A Sweet Financing Deal Creates New Jobs In Viet Nam

    ADB's $1 billion Trade Finance Program, which started operations in 2004, provides credit and guarantees on trade financing via banks in developing Asia. Most Vietnamese looking to earn a living to put food on the table or send their children to school have two choices ―toil in the fields or move to a far-away city like Ha Noi or Ho Chi Minh.
  • August 2010

    A Country under Deluge

    As Pakistan prepares for the third phase of the Asian monsoon that has already caused the worst flooding in the country's history, initial assessments of the flood's impact are underway. ADB and the World Bank are leading this assessment at the request of the Government of Pakistan, in close coordination with the Federal and Provincial Governments, the United Nations, and other development partners. While the assessment will take several weeks to complete, the damages so far are staggering:
  • June 2010

    Building Back Better

    Victims of a devastating earthquake in Pakistan are rebuilding their homes with their own hands. Abbottabad, Pakistan - "Our house, farm, livestock, we lost everything in the earthquake," says Shahida Maqsood. Over 3.5 million others like Shahida and her family of five were left destitute by the massive earthquake that struck the North-West Frontier Province and surrounding areas on the morning of 8 October 2005, taking an estimated 80,000 lives.
  • June 2010

    Educating Hajra

    An ADB-supported middle school project is making the dream of an education a reality for Pakistan's rural girls. Sukkur, Pakistan - Hajra stands up. The 13-year-old eighth grader confidently answers a math question that none of the boys in her class can. Her teacher, Manzoor Ali Abbasi, says proudly, "She is our top student."
  • June 2010

    Changing the Course of Emergencies

    The government, with help from ADB, is reducing vulnerability to floods in Tajikistan, which has suffered from a lack of levee maintenance in the years following independence. Hamadoni, Tajikistan - Five years ago, the swollen Pyanj River surged over a series of antiquated embankments in Tajikistan's fertile Hamadoni district, sweeping away everything that lay in its path. "The river turned into an avalanche of mud and water," recalls Gadoi Masayumov, who owns what was once a riverside restaurant in the town of Hamadoni.
  • March 2010

    Clean Water Brings Equality for Nepali Women, Minorities

    In Nepal, an ADB-funded program is overcoming caste and gender prejudices, while providing wells and sanitation to villages. Banshkor, Nepal - Parvati Tiwari has a secret weapon in her fight for clean water and equality for disadvantaged people in Nepal. It's her right hand. The usual greeting between Nepalis is a simple word, namaste (literally, "I bow to you"), said with palms pressed together. Women never touch men who are not close relatives. But Tiwari, 45, is having none of that.
  • February 2010

    Roads To Progress And Peace

    Malabang, Philippines - Despite abundant natural resources, the southern Philippine island of Mindanao was neglected for decades. Years of internal strife stunted development and pushed many of Mindanao's people to the margins. But new roads and bridges are bringing renewed prosperity to this troubled region. Ten years ago, the nearly 1,000 people who live in the village of Malabang rarely encountered motor vehicles along the almost-impassable dirt road linking their neighborhood to the town center.
  • January 2009

    Rebuilding Shattered Lives

    After an earthquake flattened parts of India's Gujarat province, emergency assistance from ADB helped rebuild towns with safer homes and better civic amenities On 26 January 2001, India's most severe earthquake in a century struck India's Gujarat state. Thousands died and 2 million people lost their homes. Today, several badly damaged towns have been partly reconstructed - with safer homes and better civic amenities.