Myanmar may only be the twelfth largest country in Asia, but it is home to the second most malaria deaths – mostly in regions hard to reach due to conflict, geography and lack of infrastructure. The issue is compounded by both the influx of fake malarial medication and a rise in drug-resistant malaria strains in the region, according to the World Health Organization.Continue Reading
This article originally appeared on the Eurasia Review website on March 7, 2013.
By Steve Hirsch
Donors of foreign aid to Burma are now making many of the same mistakes in that country as they have elsewhere in the past, according to a study on overseas assistance to the country as it reforms after decades of military rule.Continue Reading
This piece originally appeared in The Asia Foundation’s blog In Asia on Wednesday April 18, 2012.
By Thomas Parks
Burma (also known as Myanmar) may be on the verge of a dramatic expansion of international assistance. After last month’s parliamentary by-elections, there is likely to be more support for easing sanctions and increasing foreign assistance to the country to support the changes underway. Several major donor governments have announced easing of sanctions and increased aid to Myanmar, including Canada, the European Union, and Denmark. Dozens of donors and international NGOs are poised to establish new programs in the country in the coming months.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced yesterday that it has eased economic sanctions against Myanmar to allow development and aid work in the impoverished Southeast Asian nation.
This announcement comes in the wake of unexpected reforms in the country, including an election in April in which the opposition party, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung Sang Suu Kyi, swept the available parliamentary seats. The easing of restrictions on charity work in Myanmar are the first in a planned series of rewards for the government of Myanmar.
From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
“Treasury rolled back restrictions on financial transactions undertaken by private groups in Myanmar in support of democracy-building, health, education, sports, and religious activities. The United States is also planning ease investment restrictions and send an ambassador to Myanmar for the first time in two decades.”
Read the full story from The Chronicle of Philanthropy by clicking here.
This piece was originally published by JDSupra on April 5, 2012. Reposted with permission of the author.
By Amy K. Lehr
Following the success of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (“NLD”) party at the polls and today’s announcement that the United States will soon lift some of its sanctions against Burma, companies are closely scrutinizing the possibility of conducting business in the long-isolated country.
Recent events should not, however, be considered a green light to conduct business in Burma for at least two reasons:Continue Reading
Vice President of the Asian Development Bank Bindu Lohani stated that the Asia-Pacific region must invest US$40 billion a year to undergo “transformational change” in its resilience and resistance to climate change and natural disasters.
“There are going to be more such frequent natural disasters and they will complicate the challenge of achieving sustainable development in Asia,” Lohani said. ”As the region’s economies become increasingly linked through commercial supply chains… the impacts of such disasters are no longer confined to the place of occurrence but have wider regional and local impacts,” he said.
The Voice of America reported today that Thailand is spending US$11.5 billion to prevent future flooding disasters. In 2011, flooding in Thailand killed 700 people, did US$45 billion in damage, and dropped Thailand’s economic growth last year to 1.5 percent from an anticipated 6 percent.
Thailand isn’t the only country that is investing in disaster preparedness. In recent years China has built 85,000 dams, 270,000 kilometers of dykes and 170 water-retention areas, as well as 31,000 flood gates to better cope with flood risk.
The Chairman of the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction, Marcus Oxley, explained the changing ways disasters affect Asian nations.
“Losses in terms of assets are actually on an exponential increase. The mortality losses due to floods and cyclones are actually decreasing. But the economic losses, the losses to livelihoods, the losses to houses, to our assets, our physical infrastructure is actually increasing,” said Oxley.
Read the full story here.
Asian philanthropy has grown dramatically during the past decade, attracting considerable attention both within Asia and globally. Previously of interest primarily to a small number of advocates and researchers, the growing scale and the promise of Asian philanthropy have recently drawn the attention of major banks, private wealth advisers and business journals. Within just the past three months, for example, excellent reports on the state of philanthropy in Asia have been published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and UBS, while an invitation-only conference was organized for major philanthropists in the US by Credit Suisse.Continue Reading