After the recent catastrophe in Nepal, it’s time for homeowners in Asia and the Pacific to decide whether or not to purchase earthquake insurance. On one hand it could happen tomorrow, on the other it may not happen for another 80 years – so is it a gamble we are willing to take?
Blog posts on "social protection"
Asia’s economic growth owes a lot to the rise of both big business and SMEs. But left alone, there is little incentive for private firms to do more for workers beyond the norm.
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.
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, recently warned that “in far too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people”. It’s hard to believe that this observation applies to Asia, though, where growth has been so successful at lifting millions of people out of poverty. Surely, more growth must be the answer?
The Millennium Development Goals, which end in 2015, are a remarkable set of agreed global aspirations, with the world community committing to eradicate extreme poverty for the first time in history.
Women are the majority users of public transport. This may be because they are less likely to drive a car than men, or less likely to have priority use of a family vehicle. They are also more likely than men to be poor, making the ownership, re-fuelling and maintenance of a motor vehicle less of an option, especially for women in many developing countries. We can add this to the pervasive gender stereotypes in some countries dictating whether it is culturally appropriate for women to drive a car, take a bus, or even travel at all, especially on their own.
In an often harsh and unpredictable world, social protection schemes provide an essential buffer against extreme events like job losses, as well as support during times of ill health or in old age, but in Developing Asia coverage levels are falling well short of the region’s vast needs.
I participated in the South-South Learning on Conditional Cash Transfers workshop held at ADB Headquarters, 16-19 April 2013 that was organized in cooperation with Inter-American Development Bank.
As 2013 brings more sluggish growth for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, the developing nations of Asia remain the stellar performers of the global economy. And yet on one key indicator the region is lagging behind: investment in social protection in Asia and the Pacific region is lower than in any part of the developing world except sub-Saharan Africa.