Nearly 1.7 billion people in the Asia and Pacific region do not have access to improved drinking water and sanitation .This lack of access is a “silent crisis” that has claimed more casualties through illness than any conflict.
An estimated five billion people will be living in cities by 2030. With the country’s urban population having increased from 18 million to 25 million over the last decade, Viet Nam is seeing fast-paced urbanization, and this trend is expected to continue, exerting pressure on physical urban infrastructure in major Vietnamese cities, including water, sanitation and energy facilities.
Daeng Starch lost her legs and fingers due to leprosy. Yet despite her disability, she can continue to work as a seamstress, producing clothes, pillow cases and flags from her home in the leprosy complex in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia.
With 650 million persons with disabilities living in the Asia-Pacific region, Daeng’s story is one of many who tend to be unseen, unheard and uncounted. But for this one woman at least, ESCAP’s work has provided a way to hear her story, and to see her too.
China is now changing: as it rebalances its economy away from export- and investment-led expansion to a model of growth based on innovation and domestic demand, it may be entering a new phase characterized by lower growth rates.
Titi wants better for his family. At the age of 13 he moved from an outer island to South Tarawa, the capital of Kiribati, to accompany his older sister who had found employment with the Government. Titi's family moved with him in the hope of better opportunities for the family, however, like many small islanders, Titi never found formal employment which would allow him to create a secure environment for his family.
In the event of an El Niño associated drought due to low-rainfall during the summer monsoon, India’s GDP could potentially fall by $23 billion, says a new United Nations assessment on the possibilities and policy options for governments attached to the impacts of the El Niño weather phenomenon in Asia and the Pacific.
The normalization of monetary policy in the United States, which began with the tapering of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve at the beginning of this year, may have a significant impact on economic growth in Asia-Pacific developing countries.
The growing disparity in incomes and access to social opportunities in Asia-Pacific developing countries not only threatens social stability but is also a key constraint to the region’s economic dynamism, according to Survey 2014. Latest data from about 40 countries in the region show that the poorest 20 per cent of the population have less than 10 per cent of national income. Between the 1990s and 2000s, the share of the poorest fifth of the population in national income declined in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Turkey.
While mainly a domestic policy issue, tax revenue collection within a country can be affected by policies in other countries. A well-known example is the growing tax competition among countries to attract foreign direct investment. This is leading to a “race to the bottom” as reduced tax rates, concessions and incentives for foreign investors distort competition, placing local businesses at a disadvantage.
Growth prospects in most Asia-Pacific countries are projected to remain subdued, requiring them to step up productive and countercyclical spending, both as a short-term stimulus to the economy and to help remove long-term structural constraints to sustaining economic dynamism, according to Survey 2014. It advocates government expenditure, targeting three key impediments to growth: (i) socioeconomic inequality; (ii) infrastructure gaps in connectivity and energy; and (iii) environmental degradation and climate change.