What is the linkage between climate resilience in Bangladesh, farmers' livelihoods in Bhutan, plastic waste in the Maldives, and a gender violence helpline in Nepal?
As we wrap up this unprecedented year, we reflect on how the region faced the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, rose to the challenge to create better development outcomes for its people and prepare for a more resilient future.
1. Protecting South Asia's poor and vulnerable against COVID-19
As the coronavirus spread across South Asia, the poorest and the most vulnerable have been the hardest hit.
Lynne Sherburne-Benz, Stefano Paternostro, and Zaineb Majoka from our Human Development team explain why it is imperative that social protection programs, including cash transfers, food vouchers, unemployment benefits, pensions, wage subsidies, be at the forefront of relief and recovery efforts.
2. Afghanistan needs to invest in its people—now more than ever
Today, more Afghans have access to primary healthcare in their neighborhood. The maternal mortality ratio has reduced compared to the past 18 years. The number of children enrolled in schools has increased from 3.8 million in 2003 to 6.3 million by 2017. But
This blog is part of our #ProtectTheGains series, which highlights programs that have made a real difference toward achieving a more prosperous, inclusive, and peaceful Afghanistan. Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan, spotlights why continued international aid, including through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), is vital to create better lives for millions of Afghans and sustain development gains.
3. Bangladesh's 50 Years journey to climate resilience
The spirit of Bangladesh, the pulse of the nation, is its story of resilience.
In 1950, Cyclone Bhola—the world's deadliest tropical cyclone on record— devastated the country. Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, Swarna Kazi, reflects on how, 50 years on, Bangladesh has become a leader in climate resilience and disaster risk reduction.
4. A path toward greater prosperity for Bhutan's farmers
Over the past decade,
Our Bhutan Economist, Tenzin Lhaden, spotlights a new program that helps thousands of smallholder farmers move from subsistence farming to market-driven sustainable agriculture, attracting younger people to return to their villages to work at their farms.
5. Empowering minority women in India: Stories of resilience and hope during the COVID crisis
Read how Sameera from Kerala and Kausar from Hyderabad have supported their families during the pandemic, thanks to the education and training they received through Nai Manzil., write Marguerite Clarke and Pradyumna Bhattacharjee from our education team.
Below, watch our video on the impact of World Bank-supported COVID-19 response projects in India.
6. Amid COVID-19, ramping up efforts against plastic waste in Sri Lanka and Maldives
The COVID-19 pandemic will only exacerbate the problem with the increased use of single-use plastic.
Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, then Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, highlights the World Bank's initiative to launch a first-of-its-kind project to combat plastic pollution in South Asia's rivers and the seas.
7. In Nepal, a helpline serves as a lifeline for survivors during COVID-19 lockdown
Nepal was one of the first South Asian countries to implement a lockdown to keep people safe in their homes, but it proved just the opposite for many women.
This blog by Jaya Sharma, Senior Social Development Specialist, spotlights Khabar Garaun (Inform Us) a 24-hour helpline run by the National Women Commission under the World Bank-supported Integrated Platform for Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response project that served as a lifeline for GBV survivors amid the pandemic.
8. Four actions to speed up Pakistan's export recovery in the wake of COVID-19
Pakistan's exports were hit hard by COVID-19. In May, the country recorded a 34 percent drop in merchandise exports from a year ago.
This blog was part of the 'Act Now Pakistan' series focusing on ideas, policies, and actions for Pakistan to recover stronger and better as the COVID-19 crisis subsides.
9. Sri Lanka: 3 ways to ensure women benefit from water and sanitation services
To ensure that the Sri Lanka Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Project was inclusive, we listened to the voices of diverse women, especially those in the estate sector where poverty rates are high, and access to water supply and sanitation is low. Aroha Bahuguna, Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, writes about three clear areas the project sought to address.
10. Road safety matters, more so during COVID-19
Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for South Asia, writes why COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to rethink the future of transport and road safety.
This blog is a part of our campaign Together for Road Safety in South Asia. Find out why road safety is a critical development priority for the region and how we are working with our partners to halve road crash deaths by 2030.
What topics would you like to read more about? Let us know in the comments below!
Trade to benefit all, US, Europe, China, India and Africa. Europe and China and most of Asian countries will all have aging population. Its only Africa that will have a youthful population. There is need for the whole world to work together on matters trade that benefits all. If not urgently addressed there will be more illegal immigrants towards Europe.
Its come to my way of thinking, that in light of the higher percentage of atmospheric humidity over an extended period of time, that this factor maybe a troublesome as other climate based abnormalities only in a more subtle way. I now, a salmon breeding ground can be fouled by a single degree change in water temperature. That perhaps, the disposition of living things is altered by breathing higher humidity air for extended periods of time. How could this be refuted or verified as a possible link to seeming adverse events occurring in human society, as much as possibly, a major cyclone or coronavirus. Maybe, an issue like this could benefit, at least understanding, or even make a positive difference in the human disposition in the times of change.
Good job i am happy with your task.
Thanks Trishna for a very nice collection of 2020 Blogs - well reflective of our priorities in SAR.
These are one of the best written pieces with facts and deep incisive analysis by the Bank staff and the experts, very good work, MaSha Allah. If there is some Tax or macroeconomic review in blogs for Pakistan, I will be greatly interested to review those.