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The rising cost of nutritious food in South Asia

Felipe F. Dizon's picture
 World Bank
A malnourished child will face poorer outcomes as an adult. In South Asia, where malnutrition persists in multiple forms, improving nutrition in the early stages of life is critical to a child's future development and health. Credit: World Bank

A malnourished child will face poorer outcomes as an adult.
 
That’s why improving nutrition, especially in the early stages of life, is critical.
 
The path toward better nutrition includes adequate maternal and child care, access to better sanitation facilities, health services, and naturally, nutritious foods.
 
But whether an individual consumes—or not—nutritious food is contingent upon a myriad of factors, ranging from the availability of certain foods, how convenient they can be turned into meals, or simply, if they meet consumers’ tastes.
 
But above all, the high cost of food remains the most critical barrier to proper nutrition and affects the poor more than the rich.
 
And in South Asia, where malnutrition persists in multiple forms, the cost of nutritious food is prohibitive.

How to diversify Bhutan’s economy?

Yoichiro Ishihara's picture
Bhutan has made tremdendous progress in reducing poverty. But it needs to do a better job at diversifying its economy by improving its physical and human capital by using resource rents from hydropower.
Bhutan has made tremendous progress in reducing poverty. But it needs to do a better job at diversifying its economy by improving its physical and human capital by using resource rents from hydropower.

Will diversifying its economy help Bhutan address its youth unemployment, let alone its macroeconomic volatility and vulnerability?

With the right approach, yes.

And to that end, the latest World Bank Bhutan Development Report: A Path to Inclusive and Sustainable Development proposes solutions relevant to Bhutan’s context.

For more than ten years, developing the private sector through greater economic diversification has been Bhutan’s top policy as described in the 10th and 11th five-year plans.

Yet, youth unemployment, especially for educated Bhutanese, has remained high: 67 percent of bachelor’s degrees holders were jobless in 2016.

Diversifying the economy is touted as a standard prescription to cure such development ailments as joblessness, low productivity, and macroeconomic volatility.

However, international experience shows that this prescription does not always work.

Case in point: A World Bank’s analysis Diversified Development concludes that in resource-rich countries, investing in physical capital, human capital and economic institution are the best ways to sustain growth in the private sector.

Further to that, the development of specific sectors, which is often a common ingredient of diversification strategies in certain countries, is neither necessary nor sufficient for private-sector-led growth.

The main driver of Bhutan’s high growth and poverty reduction, hydropower has led the country’s development and will remain the backbone of its economy.

However, Bhutan needs to do a better job at diversifying its economy by improving its physical and human capital by using resource rents from hydropower.

Bhutan ranks 149 out of 160 countries on the 2018 Logistics Performance Index and 121 out of 176 countries on the 2017 ICT index.

Bhutan falls in the bottom half of the Human Capital Project rankings on critical indicators such as expected years of schooling.

ایجاد صلح و ثبات در افغانستان از صنف درسی شروع می شود

Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
Education is the bedrock for peace and a more resilient and self-sufficient Afghanistan
شاگردان یکی از مکاتب ابتداییه در ولایت پنجشیر. امتیاز عکس: شرکت مشورتی رومی/ بانک جهانی

امروز ۲۴ ماه جنوری مصادف به روز بین المللی معارف میباشد. این در حالیست که در ماه دسمبر سال ۲۰۱۷ میلادی مجمع عمومی سازمان ملل متحد این روز را بمنظور ارج گذاری به نقش محوری و اساسی تعلیم وتربیه در راستای تامین صلح و انکشاف پایدار مسمی نموده و قرار است منبعد از این روز همه ساله بعنوان روز جهانی معارف تجلیل بعمل اید.

هدف از تجلیل این روز جهانی نه تنها جلب توجه به معارف به عنوان یکی از اهداف کلیدی اهداف انکشاف پایدار ۲۰۳۰ سازمان ملل متحد میباشد، بلکه بر نقش کلیدی تعلیم و تربیه در راستای فقرزدایی، افزایش دسترسی به خدمات صحی، گسترش و نهادینه سازی تساوی جنسیت، تامین و تحکیم صلح در سراسر جهان نیز تاکید میورزد.

بدون شک اموزش یگانه راه ایجاد نیروی بشری مورد نیاز برای رشد پایدار در دراز مدت پنداشته میشود.

اختصاص دادن یک روز به عنوان روز جهانی معارف، اراده و عزم جامعه بین المللی را مبنی بر حمایت همه جانبه از دسترسی عادلانه همه ای مردم به تعلیم و اموزش با کیفیت را نشان میدهد.

منحیث معین وزارت معارف افغانستان، خوشحالم که معارف امروز درصدر اجندای جامعه جهانی قرار گرفته زیرا تعلیم و تربیه در تامین صلح و ثبات نقش خیلی مهم و ارزنده دارد.

در حالیکه افغانستان با چالش های ناشی از چندین دهه جنگ روبرو است، تاکید بر اهمیت نقش تعلیم وتربیه در راستای تامین و تحکیم پایدار صلح و ثبات در این کشور بسیار مهم و حیاتی است.

 برای ما، معارف به معنای بنیاد یک افغانستان صلح آمیز، خودکفا و مترقی میباشد.

په افغانستان کې سوله او ثبات راوستل له درسي ټولګيو پیلېږي

Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari's picture
Also available in: English | دری
Education is the bedrock for peace and a more resilient and self-sufficient Afghanistan
د پنجشیر ولایت د یوه ابتدایه ښونځۍ زده کونکې. د انځور امتیاز: د رومی شرکت/ نړیوال بانک

نن، د جنورۍ مياشتې ۲۴مه د پوهنې نړيواله ورځ ده. د سولې په راوستو او دوامداره پرمختیا کې د ښوونې او روزنې اساسي او رغنده رول ته د درناوي له پاره د ملګرو ملتونو سازمان د ۲۰۱۷ زېږديز کال په ډسمبر مياشت کې دغه ورځ [د جنورۍ ۲۴مه] د پوهنې د نړيوالې ورځې په نامه ونوموله او ټاکل شوې ده، چې تر دې وروسته به هر کال دا ورځ د پوهنې نړیوالې ورځې په نامه لمانځل کېږي.

د دغې نړيوالې ورځې له لمانځلو هدف نه یوازې دا دی، چې پوهنې ته، چې د ملګرو ملتونو د ۲۰۳۰زېږديز کال د دوامداره پراختیا مهم هدف بلل کېږي، پام راجلب شي، بلکي د بې وزلۍ پر کمښت، روغتيايي خدمتونو ته د لاسرسۍ پر زیاتوالی، د جنسیتي برابرۍ پر زیاتوالی  او عامولو، په ټولې نړۍ کې د سولې پر تامينولو او ټينګښت کې هم د ښوونې او روزنې اساسي په رول باندې ټينګار کوي.

له شک پرته زده کړه یوازينۍ لاره ده، چې په اوږدمهال کې د دوامدارې پرمختیا لپاره د اړتیا وړ بشري قوه تامينولی شي.

د پوهنې نړيوالې ورځې په نامه د یوې ورځې نومول، د نړيوالې ټولنې ټينګه اراده او ژمنه څرګندوي، چې تعلیم او زده کړې ته د ټولو خلکو د مساوي او باکیفیته لاسرسي په پار يې ملاتړ کوي.

د افغانستان د پوهنې وزارت د معين په توګه، خوښ یم چې نړيوالې ټولنې پوهنه د خپلې اجنډا په سر کې راوستې ده، ځکه ښوونه او روزنه د سولې او ثبات په ټينګښت کې رغنده رول لري.

په داسې یو حالت کې چې افغانستان د څو لسیزو راهیسې د جګړو له ګواښونو سره لاس او ګريوان دی، د دوامدارې سولې په راوستو او د ثبات په ټينګښت کې د ښوونې او روزنې پر رول تينګار کول حياتي موضوع بلل کېږي.

The journey to a peaceful Afghanistan starts in the classroom

Mohammad Ibrahim Shinwari's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
Education is the bedrock for peace and a more resilient and self-sufficient Afghanistan
Students attending school in a remote village in Afghanistan's central Panjshir Province. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy/ World Bank

Today, January 24, we’re celebrating the International Day of Education after a unanimous UN resolution recognized last December the pivotal role of education for peace and development.
 
The International Day of Education not only calls attention to education as a key goal in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but also highlights the role education plays in eradicating poverty, improving public health, promoting gender equality, and building peace worldwide.
 
There's no doubt that effective learning builds the human capital necessary for sustained long-term growth.
 
And by dedicating a global day to education, the international community has shown its determination to support inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all.
 
As Deputy Minister of Education in Afghanistan, I am pleased to see education on top of the international agenda and that its contribution to peace and development is now being recognized.
 
For Afghanistan, this recognition is crucial as the country faces the challenge of overcoming the devastating effects of decades of conflict and instability.

South Asia: A bright spot in darkening economic skies?

Hartwig Schafer's picture
South Asia is set to remain relatively insulated from some of the rising uncertainties that are looming large on the global economic horizon. The region will retain its top spot as the world’s fastest-growing region. The Siddhirganj Power Project in Bangladesh. Credit: Ismail Ferdous/World Bank

If, like me, you’re a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions, early January ushers in the prospect of renewed energy and exciting opportunities. And as tradition has it, it’s also a time to enter the prediction game.
 
Sadly, when it comes to the global economy, this year’s outlook is taking a somber turn.
 
In the aptly titled Darkening Skies, the World Bank’s new edition of its twice-a-year Global Economic Prospects report shows that risks are looming large on the economic horizon.
 
To sum up:  In emerging market and developing economies, the lingering effects of recent financial market stress on several large economies, a further deceleration in commodity exporters are likely to stall growth at a weaker-than-expected 4.2 percent this year.
 
On a positive note, South Asia is set to remain relatively insulated from some of these rising global uncertainties and will retain its top spot as the world’s fastest-growing region.
 
Bucking the global decelerating trend, growth in South Asia is expected to accelerate to 7.1 percent in 2019 from 6.9 percent in the year just ended, bolstered in part by stronger investments and robust consumption.  

Among the region’s largest economies, India is forecast to grow at 7.5 percent in fiscal year 2019-20 while Bangladesh is expected to moderate to 7 percent in fiscal year 2018-19. Sri Lanka is seen speeding up slightly to 4 percent in 2019.
 
Notably, and despite increasing conflicts and growing fragility, Afghanistan is expected to increase its growth to  2.7 percent rate this year.

In this otherwise positive outlook, Pakistan’s growth is projected to slow to 3.7 percent in fiscal year 2018-19 as the country is tightening its financial conditions to help counter rising inflation and external vulnerabilities.

However, activity is projected to rebound and average 4.6 percent over the medium term.

Moving Afghanistan’s Bamyan province forward

Mohammad Tahir Zuhair's picture
Also available in: دری | پښتو
View of Bamyan Province, Afghanistan
View of Bamyan city, Bamyan Province. Photo Credit: Rumi Consultancy​/ World Bank

When people think of Afghanistan, what comes to their minds are images of decades of war and insecurity.

True, Afghanistan has suffered a long history of upheaval

But there has been significant progress in rebuilding a strong, independent, and modern nation since 2001.

And in light of our nation’s turbulent history, it is sometimes easy to forget how far Afghanistan has come.

Just two month ago in October, over four million voters cast their ballots in parliamentary elections—with millions more looking forward to voting in the upcoming presidential election in 2019.

Unforgettably, 2018 also brought the unprecedented three-day ceasefire during Eid, a rare glimpse of complete peace that continues to give hope to many of us.

As Governor of Bamyan Province, one of my goals is to present a different image of my country to the world—one of progress and possibility in the face of adversity.

Many people have never heard of Bamyan. Neither do they know its longstanding and well-deserved reputation as one of Afghanistan’ safest provinces.

Our residents take pride in the fact that we haven’t experienced chaos, war, or insurgency against the government in 17 years.

And as Governor, I have witnessed the importance residents put on civil society, which has been vital to implementing successful development projects in the province.

بامیان در مسیر پیشرفت و تحول

Mohammad Tahir Zuhair's picture
Also available in: English | پښتو
View of Bamyan Province, Afghanistan
نمای شهر بامیان. عکس: شرکت مشورتی رومی/بانک جهانی

وقتی مردم در مورد افغانستان فکر میکنند، آن چه در وحلۀ نخست به ذهن شان خطور میکند، متاسفانه همانا دهه های جنگ و ناامنی میباشد.
 
اینکه افغانستان توأم شاهد دگرگونی ها و ناهنجاری های متداوم بوده و هنوز هم با چالش ها و مشکلات زیادی مواجه است، یک واقعیت انکار ناپذیر محسوب میگردد.
 
اما باید این واقعیت را درک کرد، که از سال ۲۰۰۱ میلادی بدینسو، افغانستان اقدامات لازم را در راستای ایجاد  یک جامعۀ پیشرفته و مرفه رویدست گرفته است.
 
با توجه به رویداد های ناگوار تاریخی که ما همواره با آن مواجه بوده ایم، اکثراً فراموش میکنیم که افغانستان کدام مسیری مملو از موانع را پیموده است.
 
دُرست دو ماه قبل، یعنی بتاریخ ۲۸ میزان ۱۳۹۷، بیش از چهار میلیون افغان درانتخابات ولسی جرگه اشتراک نموده و به کاندیدان مورد نظر خود رای دادند. این در حالیست که قرار است میلیون ها افغان در انتخابات ریاست جمهوری سال ۱۳۹۸ نیز اشتراک ورزند.
 
شایان ذکر است که مردم افغانستان در سال ۲۰۱۸ شاهد برقراری نخستین آتش بس سه روزه برای اولین بار با طالبان در روز های عید سعید فطر بودند، که متعاقب آن یک چشم انداز امیدوار کنندۀ برای تأمین صلح درازمدت در اذهان عامه تداعی گردیده است.
 
منحیث والی بامیان یکی از اهداف من این است که یک تصویر متفاوتی از کشور خود به جهانیان ارایه نمایم – تصویریکه این واقعیت یعنی: علی االرغم شرایط دشوار، پیشرفت و کامیابی نیز ممکن است، باشد.

بامیان د پرمختګ او تحول په لوري

Mohammad Tahir Zuhair's picture
Also available in: English | دری
View of Bamyan Province, Afghanistan
د بامیان ښار منظره. انځور: د رومي مشورتي شرکت/ نړیوال بانک

کله چې خلک د افغانستان په اړه فکر کوي، څه یې چې په لومړۍ شیبه کې په ذهن کې ورګرځي، له بده مرغه هماغه د جنګ او ناامنۍ لسیزې  دي.
 
د داسې واقعیت څخه هم نه شو انکار کولی چې افغانستان د دوامدارو تاوتریخوالي او ګډوډیو شاهد پاتې شوی دی او لا هم له زیاتو ننګونو او ستونزو سره مخ دی.
 
خو باید دا واقعیت درک کړو چې له ۲۰۰۱ زېږدیز کال را په دې خوا، افغانستان د یوې هوسا او پرمختللې ټولنې د رامنځته کولو په لاره کې لازم کارونه تر لاس لاندې نیولي دي.
 
هغو بدو تاریخي پېښوته په کتو سره چې موږ تل ورسره مخ یو، اکثره وختونه دا هېروو چې افغانستان ده پرمختګ په لور یوه اوږدهلارې څخه را تېر شوی دی.
 
پوره دوه میاشتې مخکې، یعنې د ۱۳۹۷ د تلې په ۲۸ مه نېته، تر څلور میلیونه زیاتو افغانانو د ولسي جرګې په ټاکنو کې برخه واخیسته او د خپلې خوښې کاندیدانو ته یې رایې ورکړې اومیلیونونه افغانان په تمه دي چې د ۱۳۹۸ کال په ولسمشریزو  ټاکنو کې ګډون وکړي.
 
د یادولو ده چې د افغانستان  خلک په ۲۰۱۸ زېږدیز کال کې  ده لومړي ځل لپاره  طالبانو سره د کوچني اختر په ورځو کې درې ورځنی اوربند شاهدان وو چې ورپسې بیا د خلکو په ذهنونو کې د اوږد مهالې سولې د ټینګېدو هیلې زرغونې شوې.
 
د بامیان د والي په حیث زما په هدوفونو کې یو دا دی چې د خپل هېواد یو متفاوت انځور نړیوالو ته ښکاره کړم – داسې انځور چې دغه واقعیت ورته په ډاګه کړي چې: له سختو شرایطو سره سره بیا هم بریا او پرمختګ ممکن دي.

Against all odds: 16 inspiring heroes from Nepal

Renu Chhetri's picture
As the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is marked worldwide, we present to you stories of 16 inspiring heroes from Nepal. They are crusaders and pioneers, leaders and visionaries who share one common trait – a remarkable journey in their path towards equality and empowerment. They belong to diverse backgrounds, cultures, castes and groups. Yet all of them have stood against odds and managed to make a difference in many lives.

Each of the personalities is carefully chosen as a representative character with experiences that motivate and resonate with us. These Nepali heroes deserve to be read about, known and lauded for their efforts.
 



16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.

The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The World Bank Group believes that no country, community, or economy can achieve its potential or meet the challenges of the 21st century without equal participation of women and men, girls and boys.

So
here we bring to you stories of 16 heroes that have contributed more than their share in empowering themselves, their communities and nation.

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