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East Asia and Pacific

Myanmar: How IDA can help countries reduce poverty and build shared prosperity

Victoria Kwakwa's picture
© Meriem Gray/World Bank



This week, more than fifty donor governments and representatives of borrowing member countries are gathering in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss how the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) can continue to help the world’s poorest countries.

IDA financing helps the world’s 77 poorest countries address big development issues. With IDA’s help, hundreds of millions of people have escaped poverty. This has been done through the creation of jobs, access to clean water, schools, roads, nutrition, electricity and more. During the past five years, IDA funding helped immunize 205 million children globally, provided access to better water sources for 50 million and access to health services for 413 million people.

Myanmar has set a path to a bright energy future by 2030

Alan David Lee's picture
  Hong Sar/ World Bank
Photo © :  Hong Sar/ World Bank.

Kyaw San has trouble studying at night. The student from Yangon Division’s Buu Tar Suu village finds it especially difficult during the rainy season when his old solar-powered lamps cannot be charged, forcing him to study by candlelight. 
 
Win Win Nwe, a grade 5 student, also often prepares for exams by candlelight. Her family can’t always afford to buy candles, adding another obstacle to an activity many take for granted. “If we can afford candles, we buy them. If we can’t, we don’t. We struggle and do our best,” said her father Kyi Htwe.

Today, two-thirds of Myanmar’s population is not connected to the national electricity grid and 84% of rural households lack access to electricity. No power means no light, no refrigerators, no recharging phones and batteries. Small businesses can’t stay open in the evenings, and clinics cannot refrigerate medicines. Access to reliable and affordable energy is essential for a country’s development, job creation, poverty reduction and shared prosperity goals.

Naiknya kesenjangan: Mengapa ketimpangan di Indonesia naik dan apa yang perlu dilakukan?

Matthew Wai-Poi's picture
Also available in: English
In 2014, the richest 10 per cent of Indonesian households consumed as much as the poorest 54 per cent. Image by Google Maps.


Sejak tahun 1990an, ketimpangan di Indonesia naik lebih pesat dibanding negara Asia Timur manapun selain Tiongkok. Pada tahun 2002, konsumsi 10% rumahtangga terkaya setara dengan konsumsi 42% rumahtangga termiskin. Bahkan pada tahun 2014, naik menjadi 54%. Mengapa kita perlu khawatir mengenai tren ini? Apa penyebabnya, dan bagaimana pemerintah yang sekarang bisa mengatasi naiknya ketimpangan? Apa saja yang perlu dilakukan?
 
Ketimpangan tidak selalu buruk;  ketimpangan bisa memberi penghargaan bagi mereka yang bekerja keras dan berani mengambil risiko. Tetapi ketimpangan yang tinggi itu mengkhawatirkan dan bukan hanya karena alasan keadilan. Ketimpangan tinggi bisa berdampak pada pertumbuhan ekonomi, memperparah konflik, dan menghambat potensi generasi sekarang dan masa depan. Contohnya, riset baru mengindikasikan bahwa secara rata-rata, ketika porsi besar pendapatan nasional dinikmati oleh seperlima rumahtangga terkaya, pertumbuhan ekonomi melambat – sementara negara bisa tumbuh lebih cepat ketika seperlima rumahtangga termiskin menerima lebih banyak.

Rising divide: why inequality is increasing and what needs to be done

Matthew Wai-Poi's picture
Also available in: Bahasa Indonesia
In 2014, the richest 10 per cent of Indonesian households consumed as much as the poorest 54 per cent. Image by Google Maps.




Since the 1990s, inequality has risen faster in Indonesia than in any other East Asian country apart from China. In 2002, the richest 10 per cent of households consumed as much as the poorest 42 per cent. By 2014, they consumed as much as the poorest 54 per cent. Why should we be worried about this trend? What is causing it, and how is the current administration addressing rising inequality? And what still needs to be done?

Inequality is not always bad; it can provide rewards for those who work hard and take risks. But high inequality is worrying for reasons beyond fairness. High inequality can impact economic growth, exacerbate conflict, and curb the potential of current and future generations. For example, recent research indicates that, on average, when a higher share of national income goes to the richest fifth of households, economic growth slows—whereas countries grow more quickly when the poorest two-fifths receive more.

Steak, fries and air pollution

Garo Batmanian's picture
 Guangqing Liu
Photo © : Guangqing Liu

While most people link air pollution only to burning fossil fuels, other activities such as agriculture and biomass burning also contribute to it. The complexity of air pollution can be explained by analyzing the composition of the PM2.5, one the most important air pollution indicators. 
 

ยุติความรุนแรงทุกรูปแบบที่มีต่อหญิงไทยที่ทำงานบริการทางเพศ

Michele R. Decker's picture
Also available in: English
Photo: vinylmeister,  https://flic.kr/p/niguan

ในที่สุดก็ได้มาถึงประเทศไทยเพื่อฉลองรางวัลความคิดสร้างสรรค์ด้านการพัฒนา (Development Marketplace for Innovation) ด้านการป้องกันการใช้ความรุนแรงทางเพศที่เราได้รับจากกลุ่มธนาคารโลกและศูนย์วิจัยด้านความรุนแรงทางเพศ (Sexual Violence Research Initiative: SVRI) เมื่อเดือนก่อน  ทีมวิจัยของเราประกอบด้วย คุณสุรางค์ จันทร์แย้ม คุณจำรอง แพงหนองยาง ผู้บริหารมูลนิธิเพื่อนพนักงานบริการ (Sex Workers IN Group’s - SWING) และ ดร. ดุสิตา พึ่งสำราญ นักวิจัยจากมหาวิทยาลัยมหิดลซึ่งได้ไปร่วมพิธีรับรางวัล ณ กรุงวอชิงตัน ดีซี  โดยมี ดร. จิม ยอง คิม ประธานกลุ่มธนาคารโลกกล่าวและให้กำลังใจในการทำงานผู้ได้รับรางวัลทุกคน  แม้ว่าวันนี้ที่เราได้มาอยู่ไกลอีกซีกโลก ณ ห้องประชุมของ SWING ที่มีสีสรรสดใสหากแต่ความรู้สึกมุ่งมั่นที่จะทำงานด้านการป้องกันการใช้ความรุนแรงทางเพศที่ได้จากงานรับรางวัลในครั้งนั้นยังคงอยู่กับพวกเรา.
 

Ending the invisible violence against Thai female sex workers

Michele R. Decker's picture
Also available in: ภาษาไทย
Photo: vinylmeister,  https://flic.kr/p/niguan

I’m finally in Thailand celebrating our Development Marketplace for Innovation award from the World Bank Group and the nonprofit Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) to prevent gender-based violence. Just one month ago, our team members, consisting of Sex Workers IN Group’s (SWING) leaders, Surang Janyam and Chamrong Phaengnongyang, and Mahidol University researcher, Dusita Phuengsamran, were at the awards ceremony in Washington DC, humbled by the words and encouragement of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. Today, half a world away, at SWING’s colorful conference space, the passion for violence prevention that infused the awards ceremony is still with us.
 

Firing up Myanmar’s economy through private sector growth

Sjamsu Rahardja's picture
Workers at a garment factory
Myanmar’s reintegration into the global economy presents it with a unique opportunity to leverage private sector growth to reduce poverty, share prosperity and sustain the nationwide peace process.
 
For much of its post-independence period, Myanmar’s once vibrant entrepreneurialism and private sector was stifled by economic isolation, state control, and a system which promoted crony capitalism in the form of preferential access to markets and goods, especially in the exploitation of natural resources. Reflecting this legacy, private sector firms are still burdened with onerous regulations and high costs, dragging down their competitiveness and reducing growth prospects.
 

Unleashing Myanmar’s agricultural potential

Sergiy Zorya's picture


Myanmar’s unusually fertile soils and abundant water source are legendary in Southeast Asia. It is even said that Myanmar has the most favorable agricultural conditions in all of Asia. Almost anything can be grown in the country, from fruits to vegetables, from rice to pulses. The agriculture sector dominates the economy, contributing 38% of GDP, and employing more than 60% of the workforce. The importance of agriculture in the economy and as an employer will diminish in coming years as a result of structural transformation. However, the sector will continue to play a remarkable role in reducing poverty in Myanmar for many years to come.  

Hear our voice: Young people in the Philippines want more from their leaders

Mark Raygan Garcia's picture
Scroll through social media in the Philippines, and you’ll get the feel of how young people have transformed digital spaces into a microcosm of what the Philippines should or should not be. If only their ideas and fervor in cyberspace could be translated to engaged participation on the ground, the light at the end of the tunnel would be brighter.
 
“So what now after the May 2016 elections?”
 
We asked this question at an event for the Knowledge for Development Community (KDC) network a few months before the May 9 national and local elections. The KDC was formed by the World Bank office in Manila in 2002 to promote knowledge sharing of development issues. It’s a network composed of 19 universities, non-government organizations and think tanks across the country. We turned to the largest segment in our network – students – and asked: “What do you want from your next leaders?”
 
Spearheaded by Silliman University based in the Visayas in Central Philippines, the KDC organized youth discussions in three cities in each of the major island groups: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. St. Paul University Philippines handled the discussions in Tuguegarao in Luzon, Silliman University for Dumaguete, and the Western Mindanao State University for Zamboanga based in Mindanao. The project involved 30 youth representatives in each city: 15 in-school and 15 out-of-school. Its composition was not just sensitive to, but also affirmed, the equal value of the out-of-school youth in development processes.

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