World's largest innovation lab designed to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Singapore
May 23, 2018

SINGAPORE --( ASIA TODAY )-- UNLEASH is a global innovation lab, convening 1,000 carefully selected millennial thought leaders from more than 100 countries, who will collaborate on ideas and solutions to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Singapore is the official host of UNLEASH 2018.

In 2017, the inaugural UNLEASH was held in August in Denmark, convening 1,000 talents from 129 countries. Last November, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was handed the host country torch for UNLEASH 2018 by Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. “We each have a valuable contribution to make to sustainable development,” observed PM Lee Hsien Loong. “I am happy that Singapore’s private sector will be hosting UNLEASH 2018 and doing their part for the Sustainable Development Agenda. This gathering of young, creative and innovative minds will harness the power of human ingenuity, to create imaginative solutions that achieve the SDGs.”

For the upcoming event from May 30 to June 6, UNLEASH has again handpicked 1,000 talents from more than 100 countries, who will work on challenges related to the SDGs, in eight different themes: Zero Hunger, Health, Education, Water & Sanitation, Energy, Sustainable Cities, Responsible Supply Chain & Consumption, and Climate Action. UNLEASH, a nonprofit, is sponsored by leading organizations within their fields, including DBS Bank, Deloitte, National University of Singapore (NUS), Temasek, Keppel Corporation, Sembcorp Industries, Hempel Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation, PSA International, Ramboll Foundation, SP Group, ST Engineering, and World Diabetes Foundation.

This year’s UNLEASH program will integrate powerhouse Singaporean businesses with local ways of living, thinking, and working: “Singapore embodies UNLEASH’s values of innovation, multi-culturalism, and cross-sector partnerships,” says Flemming Besenbacher, chairman of UNLEASH, Carlsberg Group, and the Carlsberg Foundation. “I’m looking forward to welcoming the new group of talents and to cement UNLEASH’s status as a global and influential movement for the SDGs.”

An 8-day program to spark innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

UNLEASH starts on May 30, when talents will be guided through a day of activities at Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU), The Wave. Scheduled speakers include the founder of the World Toilet Organization Jack Sim; and the founder of the Mara Group Ashish Thakkar.

Starting May 31, the talents will go through a four-day Innovation Lab held at NUS and NTU. The talents will form teams that work on solutions within their areas of expertise. The lab will be facilitated by Lead Innovation Partner Deloitte, who is continuing their involvement in UNLEASH from last year.

On June 5, the talent teams will pitch their solutions to experts, mentors and peers at NUS. Teams will then go on to showcase their solutions to the public at the market place, which will be held alongside Ecosperity, Temasek’s annual sustainability-focused conference at Suntec Convention Centre.

On June 6, the final day of UNLEASH, five winning teams will be picked to receive special prizes at the UNLEASH Closing Ceremony. Here, 1,400 local and international stakeholders will convene to celebrate the talents and be inspired by speakers such as President of Singapore Mdm Halimah Yacob; Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Ramos-Horta; Oscar-winning actor and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Forest Whitaker; CEO of DBS Bank Piyush Gupta; and UNDP Innovation Champion Sophia the Robot.

Execution partners are the Carlsberg Foundation, Dalberg, and UNDP.

Interviews with organizers, talents or VIPs can be arranged upon request.

UNLEASH Partners

UNLEASH works with a range of partners. The Diamond partners of UNLEASH include DBS Bank, Deloitte, National University of Singapore, and Temasek. UNLEASH also works with a range of track sponsors and ecosystem partners, who provide guidance and help to the talents.

Partner quotes

“We believe that businesses have a fundamental role to play in sustainable development. DBS is proud to be a key partner of UNLEASH, and to be championing social entrepreneurship – a cornerstone of our sustainability agenda. We’re excited to be supporting the 1,000 bright young minds coming together to create solutions for a better future, and to be part of an important initiative that contributes towards the SDGs.”

- Sim S. Lim, Singapore Country Head, DBS Bank

“Having played a role in the success of the inaugural UNLEASH in 2017, we are honoured to continue our support as lead innovation partner and bring this meaningful experience to Singapore. Deloitte will be sending a global team of 50 facilitators to help the UNLEASH talents advance their ideas through the innovation process and we are excited to see how these wonderful ideas can be translated to help make the world more sustainable for the future.”

- Philip YUEN, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Southeast Asia and Singapore

“Temasek is a generational investor and we believe in creating opportunities for the next generation. That is why we are happy to welcome UNLEASH as a partner for Ecosperity this year. Ecosperity is more than a conference. It is an intergenerational effort to build a sustainable tomorrow – starting today.”

- Robin Hu, Head, Sustainability & Stewardship Group, Temasek

“The National University of Singapore (NUS) is proud to be a Diamond Partner for UNLEASH. We wholeheartedly support UNLEASH’s search for innovative solutions to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). NUS itself is committed to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of university life, from research, education, and enterprise, to public service and operations. NUS is pleased to provide accommodation for the 1,000 talents and to host many of the Innovation Lab activities on our campus. Our experts in various SDG themes will also guide the talents on their innovation process.”

- Professor TAN Eng Chye, President of the National University of Singapore

For further information, contact:
Julie Buur Trærup,
M: +6581514302,

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ADB, AECID Sign MOU for Further Collaboration, Knowledge Sharing
May 22, 2018

ADB Head of Cofinancing Operations Mr. Kai Preugschat (left, sitting) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) Director Mr. Luis Tejada Chacòn (right, sitting) sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) on the sidelines of the 51st Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors in Manila, Philippines.

They were joined by ADB Deputy Director General for Southeast Asia Ms. F. Cleo Kawawaki (left, standing) and Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness Deputy Director for Multilateral Financial Institutions Ms. Clara Crespo Ruiz de Elvira (right, standing).

The MOU lays the groundwork for further cooperation between the two institutions and outlines the criteria for cofinancing projects, coordination of activities in countries and sectors of common interest, and knowledge sharing.


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ADB Seminar Considers Challenge of Technological Change, Globalization, and Jobs in Asia
May 20, 2018

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — As Asia and the Pacific seeks inclusive and sustainable economic growth, countries are adapting to the possibility that new technologies in fields such as robotics and artificial intelligence may lead to challenges for some industries and groups of workers, according to participants at a high-level Asian Development Bank (ADB) seminar.

“Advances in new technologies will raise incomes and increase demand from Asia’s rising consumer class,” ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao said at the Governors’ Seminar during ADB’s 51st Annual Meeting in Manila, Philippines. “Countries that maintain flexible policies, support improvements to education, and put in place a stronger social safety net will be well positioned to take advantage of change that new technologies will bring to the region.”

The seminar “Technological Change, Globalization, and Jobs in Asia” had as panelists Philippines Finance Secretary Mr. Carlos G. Dominguez, Indonesia Finance Minister Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Japan Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Taro Aso, and Fiji Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Public Enterprises, Civil Service, and Communications Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. They shared experiences and issues from their countries’ perspectives.

According to the theme chapter of ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2018, despite concerns that new technologies and automation could lead to widespread job losses, there are four reasons for optimism about developing Asia’s job prospects.

First, despite the growing use of industrial robots in the region, new technologies often automate some tasks of a job, not the whole job.

Second, automation takes place only where it is both technically and economically feasible, and it has so far been concentrated in the region’s capital-intensive manufacturing with relatively low employment levels.

Third, empirical evidence from developing Asia shows that jobs created by rising domestic demand more than compensate for job losses due to technological advances. This job creation will likely continue as a growing middle class consumes more and better goods and services.

Fourth, technological advances and rising incomes will lead to new occupations and industries, further offsetting labor displacement due to automation.

Nonetheless, new technologies will alter the composition of skills needed by the workforce, panelists said. They may lead to more frequent unemployment and lower wage growth for less skilled workers who engage in manual and routine tasks, widening income inequality.

Governments can respond by ensuring workers are protected from these negative effects. This will require policy actions on education and skills development, labor regulation, social protection, and income distribution. Also, government support for new technologies must benefit people and protect their rights and privacy, panelists agreed.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 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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Grateful for the Little Blessings
May 15, 2018

She was only in her early twenties when Zaliha binti Sis discovered that her kidneys were failing. Noticing that her legs and face were unusually swollen, she decided to go for a medical check-up, and was diagnosed as having nephrotic syndrome, a type of kidney disorder.

Two years later in 1978, Zaliha got married and began her lifelong journey with dialysis. Later that same year, due to her chronic kidney condition, Zaliha was also forced to abort her pregnancy. Her husband, a health officer, whom she had confided in about her illness before marriage, was understanding and supportive.

She received a glimmer of hope in 1979 when her mother donated one of her kidneys, but after undergoing surgery the following year, Zaliha’s body rejected it, leaving the latter with no choice but to resume dialysis.

Back then, the former assistant nurse used to commute to Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) from Banting to undergo 8-hour dialysis treatments three times a week.

“I am very fortunate to have had the strong support of my husband and his family while I was ill and undergoing treatment. Even my hospital superiors were understanding and gave me the flexibility to choose my work shifts based on my treatments,” shares Zaliha.

In 1982, the couple adopted a daughter, her husband’s niece, who is now an engineer with two sons of her own. Zaliha’s treatments have now reduced to four hours per session, and despite all she has been through, the 63-year-old seems content.

“Even though I have to undergo these treatments I’m still able to do the things I love, like sewing and cooking for my family. I made sure I controlled my child’s diet when she was younger so she wouldn’t go through what I did,” says Zaliha, who currently lives in Ampang with her daughter and grandsons.”

“My only wish”, she says, “is to see my grandsons grow up healthily and hope that I don’t become a burden to anyone as I get older.”
Meanwhile, Melini binti Ismail has been through quite a different journey. Born in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Melini pursued her further education in accounting (ACCA) in the United Kingdom many years ago.

The former accountant at TV3 found out about her failing kidneys after a blood test in 2012. Prior to that, Melini and her family members had suspected that her kidneys were not functioning well as she was already suffering from diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure).

However, despite advice from the nephrologist she decided to delay her dialysis treatments due to her work commitments at a German firm at that time.

Since commencing dialysis treatments in late 2012, the 62-year-old admits that one of the things she has had to give up, and that she misses most, is traveling.

“When traveling I need to find areas with dialysis centres and book well in advance, which can be quite troublesome, especially if I’m going overseas. So the only traveling I do these days is back to my hometown in Kota Bahru, which incidentally has an NKF branch,” shares Melini, who has only been under NKF’s care since 2012, undergoing dialysis treatments at a private hospital prior to this.

Having a chronic kidney condition also means that Melini has to watch her diet closely, which can prove to be quite challenging for a self-proclaimed food-lover like her.

She admits that she was once admitted to hospital for two days after indulging in nasi dagang. Since that scare, she has been more careful about her diet and has started cooking healthier food for herself.

These days, Melini, who has two daughters and a son, spends her free time helping her husband plant figs and lemons at his farms in Rawang.

“These days I prefer to stay home, cook and spend time with my family. I’m actually happy with what I have, and wouldn’t want to consider a kidney transplant from any of my family members. My only regret is perhaps that I did not have more children when I was younger, but otherwise, I have lived a good life. I am happy.”

For more information on these and future NKF activities or to donate towards the organisation’s efforts, please visit - or call 03-7954 9048.


Plight Story
by National Kidney Foundation Malaysia

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 27 dialysis centers nationwide.

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INDEX Holding Signs a Cooperation Agreement with UNHCR to Support "Voices for Refugees"
May 15, 2018

Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 15 May 2018 --( ASIA TODAY )-- INDEX Holding, a leading UAE national company, signed a Cooperation Agreement with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, at INDEX Holding headquarters in Dubai in support of “Voices for Refugees” Activation Campaign. The agreement was signed by Mr. Houssam Chahin, Head of Private Sector Partnerships (PSP) in the MENA region at UNHCR and Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman & Group CEO of INDEX Holding.

Commenting on the importance of the agreement, Mr. Houssam Chahin, Head of Private Sector Partnerships (PSP) in the MENA region at UNHCR, said, “On behalf of UNHCR, I would like to extend my deep appreciation to INDEX Holding for their resolute commitment to the provision of platforms to discuss pressing humanitarian affairs. Through this agreement, we will be able to raise much-needed awareness regarding the plight of refugees and displaced persons globally at some of the UAE’s leading public events.”
From his side, Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman & Group CEO of INDEX Holding said: “As INDEX Holding and in line with the year of Zayed, we are very glad today to be taking an active role in supporting UNHCR “Voice for Refugees” activation campaign. This innovative campaign with no doubt will help raise awareness about refugees in the region and beyond and will help us stand with their right to have a dignified living. We are sure that with using cutting edge technology such as virtual reality, the refugees’ stories and their voices will be heard and their cause will be supported.”

It is worth mentioning that UNHCR launched the “Voices for Refugees” campaign across the Middle East and North Africa region, including the UAE to raise awareness regarding the plight of refugees and to increase community engagement. The campaign involves numerous on the ground activations, including virtual reality, aimed at building empathy towards refugees globally.

Through the new agreement, INDEX Holding joins UNHCR as a local supporter of humanitarian crises by focusing on refugees and highlighting the benefits of engaging the local communities with their needs. Utilizing online and on-ground campaigns and activities, INDEX Holding will offer a great platform for interaction and communication between UNHCR and the local community through the events it organizes locally.

Dubai’s strategic location has allowed it to become the fastest-growing entrepreneurial global city and a key contributor to UN humanitarian needs around the world. In order to leverage Dubai’s role as an international partner in humanitarian assistance, INDEX Holding’s agreement with UNHCR endeavors to build bridges of partnership between various donors and communities seeking assistance to help those affected by crises, disasters or the adverse effects of under-development.

- END -

Media Contact
Suzan Mounzer
Public Relations & Social Media Manager
Tel: +971 45208888

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Exploring the elements of disaster risk financing strategies
May 11, 2018

Bangkok, Thailand --( ASIA TODAY )-- Experts debated the challenges and opportunities to develop strategies for managing the financial impacts of disaster risks in hazard-prone countries at the two-day workshop on “Developing the elements of a disaster risk financing strategy”.

The workshop, held in Bangkok on 8-9 May, brought together government officials from disaster risk management agencies; ministries of finance; international organizations; academia; insurance supervisors and the private sector from 25 countries.

The event was co-organized by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) - with the support from the Government of Japan.

Forty-one experts from the public, private and development sectors shared their experience and expertise on the significance of data from past disasters and exposure quantification in order to develop a disaster risk financing strategy.

In a session moderated by Mr. Aslam Pervaiz, ADPC’s Executive Director, experts shed light on the importance of disaster damage and loss data collection and exposure quantification for informed decision-making. Issues in generating, analyzing, storing, sharing and application of disaster-related data were identified as some of the important reasons faced by emerging economies to developing risk financing policies at national and sub-national levels. Experts believe that an efficient multi-hazard risk assessment coupled with the application of exposure data is a critical input for informed decision making on land use and development planning. Speakers also emphasized on consolidating and validating existing data to gain protection against hazards.

The absence of a common and systematic methodology to gather data regarding the impact of past disasters, according to experts, is a key hindrance in the development of an effective risk financing framework. Participants discussed common practices and solutions that could help overcome some of the challenges to better understanding risk and to providing the data and analytics necessary to make informed risk management and risk transfer decisions.

Japan, India, Pakistan, Viet Nam, Philippines, Lao PDR and other Asian countries shared the status of disaster risk financing and challenges they face in order to have a robust risk financing framework in their respective countries. Viet Nam shared that it manages expenditures of natural hazards by educating owners on understanding the risks involved in owning public assets while providing necessary insurance.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Hans Guttman, ADPC’s Executive Director, discussed the importance of integrating the topic of risk financing across future regional workshops. “Public financing of risk reduction is key to achieve community and country resilience. On behalf of ADPC, I commit to continuing this dialogue to make sure that risk financing is on agenda in our future consultations, especially in future meetings of the Regional Consultative Committee on Disaster Management (RCC),” he stated, further ensuring that ADPC is ready to provide technical assistance to countries in Asia and the Pacific in carrying out risk assessment.”

Ms. Mamiko Yokoi-Arai, Principal Administrator of OECD and Mr. Chul Ju Kim, Deputy Dean of ADBI concluded the workshop with their closing remarks.
For more information:

Vidya Rana (Ms.)
Communications Manager
Strategic Planning Department
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
SM Tower, 24th floor 979/69 Paholyothin Road,
Samsen Nai Phayathai,
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 66(0)22980681 to 92 Ext. 258

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Shopee announces M2030 partnership and pledges commitment to defeat Malaria in the region
May 10, 2018

Thailand, 9 May 2018 - Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, announced its commitment to help defeat malaria in the region as part of a long-term partnership with M2030, a brand created by Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA), and supported by the Global Fund. M2030 brings consumers and companies together in a mission to end malaria in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and in Indonesia by 2030. In support of this cause, Shopee will spearhead a series of campaigns and activations in the coming months. Other M2030 partners include the Tahir Foundation, DT Families Foundation, Yoma and the Dentsu Aegis Network.

Malaria is the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, taking nearly half a million lives every year, of which are mostly children under the age of five and pregnant women. Chris Feng, Chief Executive Officer of Shopee, said, "We are happy to be coming onboard as one of M2030’s pioneer brand partners in support of their mission to eliminate malaria in the Asia Pacific region by 2030. This issue strikes close to home, and as a company that is committed to using technology to improve the lives of consumers across the region, we are determined to play our part to help drive awareness and raise funds to support the elimination of malaria. We hope that all Shopee users can join us in supporting this cause.”

M2030 made its official launch announcement at an international Malaria Summit on 18 April in London, jointly hosted by the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Summit brought together major public, private and multi-sector entities announcing their commitments and plans to accelerate the fight against malaria. The summit saw around 700 participants in attendance, including Zhou Junjie, Chief Commercial Officer of Shopee, and keynote addresses from Bill Gates; Hon Penny Mordaunt, UK Secretary of State for International Development; Hon. Julie Bishop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia and other global leaders from the public and private sectors. During the launch conference, M2030 shared its commitment to work closely with its partners to drive awareness across the region and raise USD 5 million by 2020.

"Malaria used to impact millions of lives in Asia-Pacific. However, through smart investments and effective tools, we have halved the number of malaria cases and deaths over the past 15 years,” said Patrik Silborn, co-founder of M2030 and Senior Director Resource Mobilization at APLMA. “Now, for the first time ever, we’re bringing together businesses and consumers in Asia to defeat malaria in the region.”

“We’re delighted to have Shopee come onboard as one of our pioneer brand partners for this cause,” he added. “With Shopee’s extensive reach of over 115 million users across the region, we are confident that together we can make a positive difference.”

For more information, visit -
Visit the M2030 official website at -

About Shopee

Shopee is the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan. It is a platform tailored for the region, providing customers with an easy, secure and fast online shopping experience through strong payment and logistical support. Shopee aims to continually enhance its platform and become the region’s e-commerce destination of choice.

Shopee has a wide selection of product categories ranging from consumer electronics to home & living, health & beauty, baby & toys, fashion and fitness equipment.

Shopee, a Sea company, was first launched in Singapore in 2015, and has since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. Sea is a leader in digital entertainment, e-commerce and digital financial services across Greater Southeast Asia. Sea's mission is to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology, and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol SE.

For more information, please contact:

Shopee (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
Vararat Chevavichavankul
Shopee Thailand

Kanokwan Akkaranukul
Shopee Thailand

Sikkhawan Chotpradit
Shopee Thailand
Triple Eight Ideas Co., Ltd

Kanokporn Yaovapongaree (O)

Natiprada Kaewmanee (Noon)

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Advancing Maternal Health Care in the Philippines
May 07, 2018

Clinics gain accreditation and reimbursement from national health program

April 2018 — Throughout Estela Tudio’s first pregnancy in 2013, she worried about medical expenses. Estela, a homemaker in Bayambang — a town in the Philippines’ northern region of Luzon — and her husband, Almar, who earned $6 (300 Philippine pesos) per day as a tricycle driver, could not afford birth at a hospital. So Estela gave birth at home.

Giving birth at a facility with a skilled attendant greatly increases the chances of survival for both mother and baby. The Philippine Government has been seeking ways for low-income families to access this critical health care, including by subsidizing the cost of joining PhilHealth — the national health insurance program.

USAID helped build the foundation for PhilHealth in the 1990s.

Families insured by PhilHealth can receive affordable treatment at any accredited hospital or health clinic, which are reimbursed by the insurance program. Reimbursement funds are used to maintain daily operations, pay workers’ salaries, and make improvements to buildings. But many clinics in the region lack the workforce and services needed for accreditation.

In response, USAID’s LuzonHealth project partnered with the Department of Health in 2013 to build health workers’ skills and improve operations of over 350 hospitals and clinics. In the Bayambang health clinic, USAID helped train midwives in emergency obstetric and newborn care. The midwives also learned to counsel parents seeking family planning services and safely administer or dispense their chosen method.

Meanwhile, USAID helped the clinic identify and resolve the gaps in administrative requirements that were holding them back from getting accredited. For example, the project standardized the clinic’s hiring practices to boost efficiency and transparency. As a result of the Bayambang health clinic’s diligent work, it is now accredited with PhilHealth.

Today, women in Bayambang can safely and affordably give birth at the clinic. Couples can receive family planning and counseling services, too. When Estela became pregnant with her second child in 2017, she received regular prenatal care and delivered her baby with a skilled birth attendant.

“I was happy that I could give birth here and afford all of this care!” she said.

Meanwhile, the facility claimed reimbursements from PhilHealth amounting to $30,000 (1.5 million Philippine pesos) last year. This additional income helps the clinic expand and sustain its work.

“We are continually improving our services and providing for more people’s health needs,” said Dr. Paz Vallo, Bayambang’s municipal health officer.

Since 2013, USAID’s five-year LuzonHealth project, in partnership with the Research Triangle Institute, has been working with the Philippine Government to reduce maternal and infant deaths and help couples access quality family planning services. Of the 364 public birthing facilities that USAID has partnered with in Luzon, 80 percent are now accredited and receive reimbursements from the Philippine Government.


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Mongolian Journalists − reporting on disaster mitigation and preparedness (RedMap) to save lives
May 03, 2018

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia−At the Civilian Training Center in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, 40 Mongolian journalists listened intently to Thai Public Broadcast Services (ThaiPBS) disaster and weather reporting news editor, Ms. Darin Klong Ugkara, as she narrated her journey to becoming a journalist who reports to save lives.

She encouraged journalists to think beyond their careers and report for the greater goal of saving lives. She urged media colleagues to play their critical role in making communities resilient to climate change. “Timely and accurate information about hazards can help people adapt to the perilous conditions or take appropriate measure before a disaster strikes,” she informed.

Ms. Klong Ugkara was addressing televisions, newspapers, online and radio journalists at a two-day media training workshop on disaster risk reduction held in Ulaanbaatar, a day before the ISDR-Asia Partnership (IAP) Forum on 24-25 April.

The IAP meeting oversaw 125 delegates in attendance, represented by over 20 governments, intergovernmental organizations, UN entities, businesses and stakeholder groups. The delegates reviewed progress on the Asia Regional Plan for implementation of the Sendai Framework and discussed the agenda for the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) to be held on 3-5 July 2018 in Mongolia.

The media workshop, organized by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), in collaboration with the United Nation’s Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of Mongolia and the Thai PBS is part of the initiative to build the capacity of journalists in reporting on disaster mitigation and preparedness (RedMap) to save lives.

Journalists from different platforms were introduced to the concept of a One Man Journalist (OMJ). Through group work, they learnt how to use simple devices, from mobile phones to tablets, to produce high-quality packages to be aired by their television channels or run on social media.

The workshop venue−Civilian Training Center−proved to be the ultimate laboratory for participants to make fresh footage for their packages. They had the chance to film regular firefighting, search & rescue and earthquake preparedness drills being carried out at the training center by the Mongolian first respondents’ cadre.

Each group produced a three-minute package; the outstanding video was screened at the IAP meeting. In addition, workshop participants tested their newly learnt skills by covering the IAP meeting with an enhanced understanding of the subject and the role that media can play in disaster risk reduction.

Ms. Loretta Hieber Girardet, UNISDR’s Chief for the Asia -Pacific and a former journalist, attended the opening ceremony of the media training and later watched, alongside other delegates, a video clip screened at the IAP.

Ms. Loretta Hieber Girardet stated, “Reporting on the aftermath of a disaster is big news and often is the sole focus of the news media. This workshop prepares journalists to tell equally fascinating stories about how communities are building their resilience against disasters here in Mongolia.”

Video packages produced by journalists are available on Mongolia Journalist Disaster Network.

One of the objectives of the workshop was to prepare local journalists to cover the AMCDRR. “AMCDRR is a crucial mechanism to reduce the risk of disasters in the Asian region. This workshop provided local journalists an opportunity to learn new skills and techniques to reporting on AMCDRR and disasters in the region,” said Brigadier General, Badral Tuvshin, Chief of NEMA, during his opening remarks.

Mr. Aslam Perwaiz, Deputy Executive Director, ADPC highlighted the critical role of media and its potential to not only report on disasters but also raise awareness of mitigation and preparedness across all levels.

For more Information:

Vidya Rana (Ms.)
Communications Manager
Strategic Planning Department
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
SM Tower, 24th floor 979/69 Paholyothin Road,
Samsen Nai Phayathai,
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 66(0)22980681 to 92 Ext. 258

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Delegates Gather in Manila, Philippines for ADB's 51st Annual Meeting
May 03, 2018

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (2 May 2018) — Finance ministers, central bank governors, private sector representatives, development partners, academics, members of civil society, media, and the youth from the Asia and Pacific region started arriving today at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila, Philippines for the 51st Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors. Over 4,000 participants from across Asia, North America, and Europe are expected to attend the meeting from 3 to 6 May. [See schedule.]

ADB President Mr. Takehiko Nakao expressed his deep gratitude to the Philippine government, and Finance Secretary and Chair of the Board of Governors, Mr. Carlos G. Dominguez, for hosting the ADB Annual Meeting with the theme “Linking People and Economies for Inclusive Development.”

Since last year’s Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Mr. Dominguez and Mr. Nakao met several times to discuss how the Philippine government and ADB can further strengthen partnership and operations, and on how the Annual Meeting in Manila can be more focused and substantive.

This is the 16th Annual Meeting held in Manila, with the last one in 2012. The meeting will examine global and regional issues affecting development in Asia and the Pacific. Last year in Yokohama, Mr. Dominguez mentioned that ADB should reinvent itself to further strengthen its support to developing member countries. Delegates and participants over the coming days will discuss ADB’s Strategy 2030 to “achieve a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.”

Various seminars and events will be held during the Annual Meeting. Topics include: (1) examining the effect of new technologies and globalization on jobs and how countries can prepare; (2) addressing gender gaps in the region through women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment; (3) mobilizing private sector resources in meeting Asia's huge infrastructure needs; (4) adapting new technologies in finance; (5) investing in community-led solutions for climate and disaster resilience; and (6) promoting inclusive growth through regional cooperation.

The host country event on 4 May will have sessions on (1) Silk Roads and Beyond; (2) Saving the International Economic Order; and (3) Financial Technology for Inclusion.

Flagship sessions and the ADB President’s press conference will be livestreamed. Delegates can tune in to Annual Meeting events and sessions by following #ADBManila on Twitter and Facebook and check the Annual Meeting website for latest updates. Participants may also find the latest Annual Meeting updates by downloading the free Event App in iOS and Android by searching ADBManila2018.

In addition to the official sessions, journalists attending the Annual Meeting are invited to join the daily briefings by ADB Management members and department heads.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. 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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