ICCROM Africa Expert Meeting for Cultural Heritage Conservation concluded at the Egyptian Academy in Rome
Jan 14, 2019

New Africa programme to focus on youth and its engagement with heritage

Connect and inspire African youth with the possibilities of their rich heritage. Use digital technologies, including social media, to promote heritage awareness and support creative industries. Engage heritage as an economic asset, to address poverty and unemployment among young people. These are just some of the potential directions discussed during ICCROM’s Africa Expert Meeting for Cultural Heritage Conservation, held at the Egyptian Academy in Rome from 9 – 11 January 2019.

Fifteen professionals from 15 institutions met to discuss how best to design an impactful programme to support youth and its engagement in heritage in the African region. The Africa Expert Meeting took inspiration from the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and particularly from the development goals for sustainable cities and communities, gender equality, decent work and economic growth. Also invoked was the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want,” which is committed to realizing Africa’s full potential in development, culture and peace.

The event was launched on Wednesday 9 January in the presence of HE Mr Hisham Badr, Egyptian Ambassador to Italy, HE Mr Hassan Abouyoub, Moroccan Ambassador to Italy, Mr Giovanni Panebianco, Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MIBAC), and Dr Gihane Zaki, Director of the Egyptian Academy in Rome, together with Dr Webber Ndoro, Director-General of ICCROM.

“Africa has the youngest population of any continent,” said Dr Ndoro, ICCROM’s Director-General. “Heritage can be for youth a source of livelihood, identity, and a stimulus for development. The input of youth needs to be clear for what our heritage is and how to take it forward.”

Noting Egypt’s upcoming presidency of the African Union in 2019, Egyptian Ambassador Hisham Badr commented: “This meeting focuses on two important elements: culture – with all its meanings, values, messages – and youth.” He added, “Culture is a mainstay. Egypt is a nation that’s proud of its culture. In all its international relationships, in its sustainability initiatives, culture is the key.”

“We must consider the needs and special skills of youth,” underlined Giovanni Panebianco, Secretary-General of the Italian Cultural Heritage Ministry MIBAC. “Heritage conservation offers real opportunities to build a better future for Africa. Italy is aware of its role with respect to Africa, and is actively pursuing scientific and cultural cooperation in the aim of overall sustainable development on the continent.”

“It’s time to invest in young Africans,” said Dr Gihane Zaki, Director of the Egyptian Academy in Rome. “How can we put young people forward, help them take responsibility for their heritage, with enthusiasm, energy, generosity and passion?” Dr Zaki stressed Egypt's keenness to support young people in the African continent. “I am confident that ICCROM will play a strategic role in implementing new, fresh and innovative ideas to engage young people. It’s important also to remember and appreciate women’s pivotal role in African societies."

The three-day discussions led to definition of broad directions for a future Africa programme that aims to make African heritage attractive to young people on the continent, improving their involvement in the stewardship of heritage to ensure inclusive economic and social benefits to all generations. The proposed Africa programme includes the following objectives:

1) Sustain economic and social development through innovation and engagement of youth and women in heritage.
2) Increase engagement and interest of youth and women in heritage through the adoption of a people-centred approach in conservation.
3) Strengthen institutions as dynamic, innovative, reliable and attractive resources for communities, government and the private sector.

These objectives were presented at the event’s closing ceremony on Friday 11 January, attended Mr Giorgio Marrapodi, Director-General of Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), and Mr Cléophas Adrien Dioma, Director and co-founder of the Ottobre Africano festival and representative of the African Diaspora in Rome.

“This programme is about making heritage cool through innovative ways, and making African heritage accessible to African youth and women,” said Benis Nchang of Better Life Initiative, Cameroon and Alyssa K Barry of Senegal, young professional representatives to the meeting. “It’s about making youth proud of our African cultural heritage, and encouraging them to contribute to its conservation.”

For his part, Dr Ndoro thanked all the meeting participants for their contributions to the discussion, as well as the ambassadors and institutional representatives present. He extended particular thanks to the Egyptian Academy in Rome for hosting the event, and called on all ICCROM’s partner institutions and Member States, both in Africa and worldwide, to support this new initiative.

“It’s time to unlock the potential of heritage to provide a better life and livelihood to communities in Africa,” said Dr Ndoro. “Heritage is about now, about what is happening today. Youth must see the opportunities in heritage.”

Member States represented: Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
The Africa Expert Meeting was held at the Egyptian Academy in Rome, by gracious invitation of its Director, Dr Gihane Zaki, also an ICCROM Council Member. The Egyptian Academy is the only fine arts academy in Rome that represents both Africa and the Arab States, and thus is a committed stakeholder in a successful Africa strategy at ICCROM.

ICCROM is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage worldwide. It works with 136 Member States to ensure the best tools, knowledge, skills and enabling environment to preserve cultural heritage in all its forms, for the benefit of all people.   www.iccrom.org

About the Egyptian Academy in Rome
The Egyptian Academy of Fine Arts in Rome is Egypt’s premiere cultural institution in Italy. It hosts Egyptian art students for study in Rome, while promoting Egyptian culture beyond its borders to a European and international public. https://www.accademiaegitto.org/

Adham Al-Sayed
Media Consultant
Tel: (+33) 6 23 81 45 18
(Arabic, English, French)

Paul Arenson
Manager, Knowledge and Communication Services, ICCROM
Tel: +39 340 8621843
(English, French, Italian)

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KOICA Presents The Asia Foundation with ‘Best Partnership’ Award
Jan 11, 2019

Seoul, January 10, 2019 — On December 28, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) presented the ‘Best Partnership’ award to The Asia Foundation for the Women’s Business Center and Incubator Project in Mongolia. KOICA President Mi-kyung Lee delivered the letter of appreciation to Kwang Kim, country representative of The Asia Foundation in Korea.

The Women’s Business Center project, a successful public-private partnership program, began in 2016. Since it opened in Ulaanbaatar in 2016, Mongolia’s first-ever Women’s Business Center has trained over 5,000 women and developed a regular client base of 2,000 entrepreneurs. The center supports a growing number of women business owners by providing high-quality business support services and an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs.

As the most active network of women entrepreneurs in Ulaanbaatar, the center is helping to create a vigorous ecosystem of Mongolian women entrepreneurs. Watch a short film featuring one of 28 graduates of the Women’s Business Center.

Currently, The Asia Foundation is expanding support for Mongolian women entrepreneurs by implementing a follow-up project through Inclusive Business Solution in partnership with Korean ICT company, ‘Solutek’.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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Asian Tour and Habitat for Humanity Indonesia build homes together with families in Sentul
Dec 19, 2018

JAKARTA, December 19, 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Celebrating hope, joy and giving, Asian Tour golfers and staff spent a day to volunteer and build homes with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia and future homeowners in Sentul village, Bojong Koneng in Bogor to cap the successful Indonesian Masters.

"It has been a meaningful year for the Asian Tour in 2018. As we celebrate another season of success, we are happy to see that many stakeholders within the Asian Tour family made an effort to give back to society through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Through this partnership, our objective is to help Habitat for Humanity expand their brand awareness by garnering support from the golfing community to provide more families with access to affordable housing.

Over the past 12 months, players and staff have also volunteered their time on-site in India, Thailand and now Indonesia, which are some of the places that we host tournaments in. We are proud to be able to pledge our support to Habitat for Humanity," said Cho Minn Thant, Chief Operating Officer of the Asian Tour.

George Gandranata, Berry Henson, Elki Kow, Wolmer Murillo, Fajar Win Nuryanto and Mitchell Slorach comprise the Asian Tour golfers who are leading the build. Asian Tour management and staff also worked together with Habitat for Humanity Indonesia ambassadors, and families in building three homes.

Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president of Habitat for Humanity International said, “We are grateful for the strong partnership with Asian Tour through 2018. The build with Habitat families in Sentul marks Asian Tour’s continuous support. Thanks to the passion and commitment of golfers and staff, we can move closer to our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.”

During the build, Asian Tour volunteers were able to meet and work with future homeowners Enoh, Bai and Aben. Their families have been living in run-down bamboo houses that have leaky roofs and poor lighting. With the support of Habitat Indonesia and Asian Tour, the three families will be able to create a better future through secure and stable homes.

In Sentul, where communities are among the millions of Indonesians living in poverty, low-income housing are built by the families themselves often using makeshift and low quality materials. Sustainable housing solutions that build families’ and communities’ resilience are critical in disaster-prone Indonesia where vulnerable families are at risk of losing scarce assets and falling deeper into poverty.

Supporting Habitat for Humanity initiatives help overcome Indonesia’s housing gaps. Last week, Olympic golf champion and world number 2 Justin Rose donated US$50,000 to support Habitat Indonesia’s disaster response in tsunami and earthquake-hit areas in Sulawesi and Lombok.

Generous contributions from Asian Tour golfers also help make a difference. Habitat ambassadors Danny Masrin and Berry Henson raised funds together with their peers and supporters through the #BirdiesforHabitat challenge at the Indonesian Masters.

Meanwhile, India’s Shubhankar Sharma topped this year’s Habitat for Humanity Standings. The adoption of the name Habitat for Humanity Standings for this year’s Asian Tour season-long order-of-merit rankings is a meaningful reminder that housing is a top priority that can empower people to build better lives and families.

As Asian Tour’s sustainable development partner, Habitat for Humanity was able to bring the need for decent housing closer to the hearts of the golfing community in the region and the rest of the world. The partnership is instrumental in raising resources, awareness and in mobilizing volunteers for the cause of decent, secure housing in India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Marking its 35th anniversary in the Asia-Pacific region in 2018, Habitat for Humanity continues to draw on the strength of partnerships such as with Asian Tour to build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter.


Aaron Aspi
+63 920 956 9181

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Indonesian Masters to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity’s Sulawesi and Lombok disaster response
Dec 12, 2018

JAKARTA, December 12, 2018 – Habitat for Humanity, the sustainable development partner of the Asian Tour 2018 season, will be raising funds at the Indonesia Masters to support the needs of tsunami and earthquake-affected families in Sulawesi and Lombok.

Ahead of the Indonesian Masters in December 2018, English professional golfer, 2013 US Open Champion and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose donated US$ 50,000 to Habitat for Humanity Indonesia’s disaster response program in Sulawesi and Lombok. Last year’s Indonesian Masters champion, Rose will defend his title while advocating for Habitat for Humanity’s vision of decent housing for all.

“I’m truly saddened by the events in Sulawesi and Lombok and in a time of need for the survivors affected by these catastrophes, I hope my donation can help restore some sort of normality,” said Rose.

Habitat Indonesia will support the reconstruction of houses, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, and other community assets in a three-phase disaster response that could take three years or more. Ongoing shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions help disaster-affected families transition from relief to recovery and reconstruction.

Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president of Habitat for Humanity International said, “We are grateful for the generosity of Justin Rose. As the festive season of giving approaches, we continue to appeal to the public to help build lasting change in the lives of families that Habitat is supporting in the disaster-hit areas of Sulawesi and Lombok, Indonesia. Because of the massive needs, we must do more.”

During this year’s Indonesian Masters, tournament spectators, guests and golf enthusiasts will get the chance to support Habitat Indonesia’s fundraising drive by buying merchandise and bricks and playing games such as darts, golf pong, and house of boxes.

Throughout the season, seven Asian Tour golfers – Berry Henson (USA), Casey O’Toole (USA), George Gandranata (INDONESIA), Danny Masrin (INDONESIA), Mitchell Slorach (SINGAPORE), Michael Tran (VIETNAM) and Wolmer Murillo (MALAYSIA) served as Habitat for Humanity ambassadors and volunteers, sharing the vision of decent and affordable housing with millions of golfing enthusiasts in the region and around the world.

Habitat for Humanity recognizes the Asian Tour golfers, their family and friends for their support in raising awareness and resources to help families build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. The Asian Tour golfers joined builds to help construct homes for families in vulnerable areas, participated in Pro-Am games, and held golf clinics for the youth.

For the past 12 months, Habitat for Humanity has served as Asian Tour’s sustainable development partner – extending partnerships in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, and creating avenues for the golfing community to support meaningful housing and shelter projects across Asia-Pacific.

– ends –

Senior Specialist, Media Relations and Disaster Communications, Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International
3rd Floor, 111 Paseo Condo Building Tower 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Makati City 1229, Philippines
Office: +63 (2) 553 4455 ext. 4269 | Fax: +632 553 2233

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Nineteen countries gather in Kathmandu to discuss disaster risk management
Dec 01, 2018

Kathmandu --( ASIA TODAY )-- Representatives from 19 countries are all set to meet in Kathmandu on Monday (3 December) at the 14th meeting of the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster Management (RCC).

The three-day event is being hosted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), in collaboration with Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC). Serving as the RCC’s Secretariat since 2000, ADPC is an intergovernmental organization based in Thailand.

The Prime Minister of the Government of Nepal H.E. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli will be the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Session of the meeting.

High-ranking delegates from National Disaster Management Offices of nineteen member countries in Asia and the Pacific alongside international observers and development partners from non-member states will attend the meeting.

The overarching theme of the 14th RCC is “Policies and Practices for Coherence between Global Frameworks”. The meeting will offer an opportunity to member countries to devise collective actions for coherence between Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SDRR), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other relevant frameworks at the national and local level.

Made up of 26 countries in Asia and the Pacific, RCC serves as a non-binding mechanism to promote the implementation of action strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate resilience; develop cooperative programs at regional and sub-regional levels; and provide guidance to ADPC on its future work and strategies.

Member countries will also discuss strategies for the implementation of global frameworks in line with national policies and priorities. In a bid to save people’s lives and properties from climate change-related disasters and to protect development gains of national economies in the region, delegates will share best practices and lessons.

Nepal is hosting the RCC for the first time and it is also one of the founding members of ADPC who ratified the ADPC Charter along with Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand. The 14th RCC will conclude on 5 December with a joint statement from all participating countries on disaster risk management and coherence between global frameworks.

# # #

For more information:
Please contact Ms. Vidya Rana
Email: nusrat.rana@adpc.net

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NKF's 15th Annual Dialysis Meeting enlightens 500 healthcare experts
Nov 15, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, November 2018 – The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Malaysia recently hosted the 15th Annual Dialysis Meeting 2018 (ADM) with the theme ‘Exploring the Possibilities’.

The ADM was held at the VE Hotel & Residence, Bangsar South, Kuala Lumpur on 27 and 28 October 2018 to highlight the new development in renal disease treatment research and explore new evidence or techniques in order to achieve the best outcomes for dialysis patients and their care-givers. The medical event provided insights on demonstrable personal, clinical and organizational benefits which attracted 500 delegates from the healthcare industry.

The event featured 22 informative sessions on chronic kidney disease, dialysis, organ transplant, medicolegal issues, diet and nutrition workshops led by notable experts. Other highlights were exciting key note speeches, informative issues discussions and opportunities to network with hundreds of professionals.

Speaking during the opening launch, Dr. Thiruventhiran Thilaganathan, the Chairperson of the NKF 15th ADM 2018 Organising Committee mentioned, “The dialysis treatment rate in Malaysia has been alarming, especially in recent years. While there are 40,000 dialysis patients now, the number is expected to project to a whopping 106,249 in 2040. This large number of dialysis patients has made Malaysia the country with the seventh highest dialysis treatment rate in the world.”

“It is crucial to ensure sufficient resources are made available to support clinically led change, to meet their clinical, emotional, psychological and social needs. As an organization, NKF is committed to bringing value to our patients. This year’s meeting serves as a great platform for us to take responsibility in providing an insight into the up-to-date practices and recent advances in the treatment of chronic kidney disease and widen the horizon of knowledge of medical personnel”, he added.

The event also highlighted scientific developments in medical research and the industry to deal with End Stage Kidney Failure (ESKF). Aside from NKF’s booth which promoted organ donation and awareness on kidney disease, pharmaceutical companies took part in the event by displaying and demonstrating the usage of their dialysis equipment and medical products.

For more information about NKF or to donate towards the organisation’s efforts, please visit www.nkf.org.my or call 03-7954 9048.

- End -

National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Malaysia is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping Malaysians suffering from end stage kidney failure who lack access to or cannot afford dialysis treatment. NKF currently has over 1,600 dialysis patients receiving subsidized dialysis treatment in over 28 dialysis centres nationwide.

Celine Lau
Brand Executive
Mobile : +6 012 9622 111

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Families affected by the Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami receive emergency shelter and hygiene from Habitat for Humanity
Nov 15, 2018

JAKARTA, 14 November 2018 – More than a month after the disastrous earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Habitat for Humanity’s response focuses on addressing the emergency water, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter needs of disaster-affected families starting in Wisolo and Jono villages in Dolo Selatan, Sigi district.

At least 300 shelter kits and 150 hygiene kits were distributed to families as Habitat for Humanity continues to work with local authorities to coordinate assistance and support the needs in hard-hit areas. Hundreds of thousands of displaced families in the hard-hit areas of Sigi, Dongala and Palu are still staying in evacuation camps and in makeshift homes. Living conditions are difficult especially when it rains or when it is extremely hot in the day and cold at night.

Susanto Samsudin, National Director of Habitat for Humanity in Indonesia said, ”Despite of the pressing challenges, we stand together with our Sulawesi brothers and sisters as we move forward and help address the growing shelter needs of disaster-affected families and communities.”

More than 500 aftershocks have been recorded since the quake hit adding to risks of possible landslides. Access to hard-hit areas remains a challenge, especially in areas where power, communications, roads, and supplies of fuel, food and water are badly affected.

Disaster management authorities say that altogether over 2.4 million people have been affected. From government reports, at least 68,451 homes are completely destroyed or damaged as tsunami floods and land liquefaction wiped out entire communities with housing damages and losses amounting to IDR 7.9 trillion (US$ 519.13 million).

Habitat for Humanity Indonesia is among the first NGOs on the ground working to assist families in a disaster response that will be rolled out in three phases – relief, recovery and reconstruction within the span of three years or more. Providing emergency shelter and repair kits, and transitional shelters in the coming months will help give families safe sheltering options while enabling them to clear debris and rubble. Addressing this will help families as they eventually prepare to reconstruct permanent homes with the help of local capacity building initiatives and other technical and construction support provided by Habitat Indonesia.

“We pray that amid the tragedy that befell many of our countrymen, they would still be able to find strength and hope in their hearts to rebuild their lives and communities. We are calling for public support, asking our fellow Indonesians to share their blessings through our fundraising drive,” Samsudin added.

Support Habitat for Humanity’s disaster response efforts:
• Donate online at bit.ly/Donate2Indonesia;
• Donate via bank transfer to Habitat for Humanity Indonesia’s bank account at Bank Central Asia - BCA 210.300.2958 Account name: Habitat Kemanusiaan Ind Yay please add number code “1” in your donation (ex Rp 500.001) and email the proof of transfer to Finance@habitatindonesia.org;
• For corporate giving and partnerships, please contact Habitat for Humanity Indonesia’s Resource Development Director, Tommy Pacatang at tommy@habitatindonesia.org or +62 896-6105-8196.
Note to Editors

To set up interviews, receive photos or further information; please contact Aaron Aspi, aaspi@habitat.org or +63 920 956 9181.

About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort. The Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region since 1983, Habitat for Humanity has supported more than 3.5 million people to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org/asiapacific.

Senior Specialist, Media Relations and Disaster Communications, Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International
3rd Floor, 111 Paseo Condo Building Tower 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Makati City 1229, Philippines
Office: +63 (2) 553 4455 ext. 4269 | Fax: +632 553 2233 | Mobile: +63 920 9569181 | Skype: aaron.aspi
aaspi@habitat.org • habitat.org/ap

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Women Authors and Illustrators Create Inspiring Storybooks for Girls in Indonesia
Nov 13, 2018

Asia Foundation, Litara Foundation, Estée Lauder Corporation host Jakarta BookLab
Jakarta, November 1, 2018 — Women authors and illustrators are creating children’s books in Bahasa Indonesia with an emphasis on gender equality and dynamic female characters as a part of The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia Let’s Read! initiative in Indonesia. The two-day book creation event, or BookLab, kicked off the inspiring women and girls empowerment campaign, “Women into Authors, Authors into Change Agents.” Held at the Jakarta Public Library, the October 31 to November 1 event was made possible by the expertise of the Litara Foundation and support by the Estée Lauder Corporation.

In Jakarta, the two-day BookLab event brought together 25 first-time writers, illustrators, and established children’s book authors from as far away as Sorong, Tulungagung, and Makassar and locally in Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Bandung to create original, illustrated children’s storybooks. The participants at the BookLab event were selected from more than 130 applicants across Indonesia.

Let’s Read! uses an ecosystem approach to address book scarcity in local languages and demonstrate the power of reading to change the trajectory of children’s lives. “These activities are designed to encourage families and communities to share the inspiring experience of becoming lost in a story and developing a love of reading,” said Aryastyani Sintadewi, manager of the Let’s Read! initiative in Indonesia.

The BookLab is the first of three project phases focused on encouraging reading in Indonesia. In this first phase, participants work with editors at Litara to refine the narratives and illustrations of original new children’s storybooks. In the second and third stages, culminating on Indonesia’s Children’s Day in July 2019, community reading advocates will be trained to encourage women across the country to participate in Indonesia’s Read to Children movement.

Many of the books developed at the Jakarta’s BookLab will be published on the Let’s Read! digital library, Asia’s free digital library for children. Let’s Read! has advanced the skills of more than 600 writers, illustrators and volunteer translators across Asia, and worked with them to produce culturally appropriate and relevant books, including many that challenge gender stereotypes. Nearly 1,500 compelling children’s books are available on the Let’s Read! digital library and on the Let’s Read! Android app on Google Play.

The Let’s Read! initiative draws on The Asia Foundation’s in-country capabilities, local partnerships, and technological expertise to empower communities to create, translate, and share high-quality and richly illustrated children’s books across Asia. Since 1954, The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program has donated over 52 million print books to thousands of under-resourced educational institutions in 28 Asian countries, including over 2.8 million books in Indonesia.

Media contacts
Amy Ovalle, Chief Communications Officer

Eelynn Sim, Director, Media & Strategy

Regional Cooperation Can Help Asia Tackle Rising Cross-Border Challenges
Oct 23, 2018

SINGAPORE (23 October 2018) — Regional cooperation is increasingly necessary to tackle a rising number of cross-border challenges in Asia and the Pacific, including infrastructure gaps, trade connectivity, financial contagion, and climate and disaster-resilience, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Asian Economic Integration Report 2018 (AEIR) says collective action to build regional public goods brings greater benefits than if countries work alone to address issues that also affect their neighbors. Regional public goods are goods, services, and systems of policies or rules that have shared benefits across countries, such as cross-border infrastructure, communicable disease control, and disaster risk management.

“Enhanced regional cooperation and coordination can help countries manage regional issues, particularly if they complement national and global actions,” said ADB Chief Economist Mr. Yasuyuki Sawada. “Multilateral development banks can help increase regional public goods by reducing knowledge and financing gaps as well as promoting regular policy dialogue for long-term cooperation among countries.”

The report points to several efforts in Asia to establish and strengthen regional public goods. For example, the 2014 pledge by 18 Asian leaders to eliminate malaria by 2030 has spurred countries to work together to achieve the goal to the benefit of the entire region. ADB’s Greater Mekong Subregion Health Security Project to help control communicable diseases in the Mekong region border areas is part of such efforts. Trade facilitation programs between countries in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation region have boosted intraregional trade, supporting economic growth.

Asia’s intraregional trade—measured by value—rose to 57.8% of its total global trade in 2017 from 57.2% in 2016. The recovery in regional trade can be attributed to the expansion of global value chains after a slowdown since 2012. Intraregional foreign direct investment also increased slightly to $260.0 billion in 2017 from $254.7 billion in 2016.

Growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific can be a buffer for the region against uncertainties in the global economy, the report says. However, it warns that uncertainty about trade policy could dampen the recovery in regional and global trade and damage consumer sentiment and business confidence in capital spending and investment.

The report notes that regional integration in Asia and the Pacific, as measured by ADB’s Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index, or ARCII, increased modestly from 0.525 in 2015 to 0.530 in 2016, with a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction. The index incorporates six sub-indexes that measure trade and investment, money and finance, the regional value chain, infrastructure and connectivity, movement of people, and institutional and social integration.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.

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NKF #AMBILSERIUS About Promoting Organ Donation
Oct 22, 2018

Kuala Lumpur, October 2018 – In conjunction with Minggu Kesedaran Pendermaan Organ (MKPO) Peringkat Kebangsaan 2018, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) of Malaysia had initiated a unique approach to promote organ donation with mobile cruisers. The NKF team distributed flyers containing organ donation statistics and information about organ donation along with green pens to drive awareness and commitment for organ donation between 17-21 October.

“Almost 25,000 patients are currently on the waiting list for organ transplant in Malaysia; however only 1.3% per million population of Malaysian has registered as organ donor pledgers. Through this effort, we strive to create awareness of the struggle of those with kidney disease that are hoping for transplants as well as to encourage the public to recognize the life-saving significance of organ donation,” said Chua Hong Wee, Chief Executive Officer of NKF.

The mobile cruiser team went around Klang Valley areas including Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam, Kelana Jaya, Damansara and Kuala Lumpur, targeting public places such as universities and shopping malls in order to spread the message to members of the public of all ages. There were also fun and informative activities such as live interviews with the public so as to understand Malaysians’ perspectives and knowledge towards organ donation in the country. Interactive games with free gifts, as well as special appearance of the movie character mascots brought cheers to the visitors. The campaign hashtag is #ambilserius.

“NKF continuously strives to create awareness on kidney disease – from preventive measures to providing assistance to the underprivileged suffering from the disease. On 27 and 28 October 2018, NKF Malaysia will also be hosting the 15th Annual Dialysis Meeting 2018 which is a patient-centred approach to dialysis care towards a better quality of life for dialysis patients in Malaysia,” Chua added.

To find out more about National Kidney Foundation and 15th Annual Dialysis Meeting event on 27 & 28 October 2018, log on to the organisation’s website at www.nkf.org.my


National Kidney Foundation of Malaysia
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Malaysia is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping Malaysians suffering from end stage kidney failure who lack access to or cannot afford dialysis treatment. NKF currently has over 1,600 dialysis patients receiving subsidized dialysis treatment in over 28 dialysis centers nationwide.

GO Communications Sdn Bhd
Celine Lau / Justin Ooi
Tel : 603 7710 3288 / Fax : 603 7710 3289
Email : celine@gocomm.com.my / justin@gocomm.com.my

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