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Workers on a railway construction project in Azerbaijan.

Infrastructure and safeguards

As multilateral development banks gear up to fill serious gaps in infrastructure in Asia, attention also focuses on safeguards, which should be a top concern for established lenders such as the World Bank and ADB as well as new players like the AIIB.

Vinod Thomas

Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) dropped 455mm of rain in Metro Manila in a span of 24 hours on 26 September 2009. A month’s worth of rainfall in a single day washed away homes and flooded large areas, killing hundreds and stranding thousands in the city and nearby provinces.

Natural disasters and how much they affect the economy

“We’ve never seen anything like this” is the refrain increasingly heard in every corner of the world in the wake of natural disasters. Indeed, intense natural disasters have increased nearly fourfold over the past four decades, with floods and storms representing 70% of the increase. Asia and the Pacific has been the worst hit region. Yet, the response to hazards of nature has been mostly to react when they strike. The upshot I see is this: unless prevention takes center stage, disasters will likely unravel progress.

Vinod Thomas

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