Connect with us

Newsdesk

ADB Supports Enforcement of Gender Equality Legislation in Mongolia

Newsroom

Published

on

UNFPA Resident Representative in Mongolia Naomi Kitahara (first from left), Prime Minister of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa (second from left), Minister of Labor and Social Protection S. Chinzorig (second from right), and ADB Country Director for Mongolia Yolanda Fernandez Lommen (first from right) at the event. Photo: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expressed its support for the enforcement of gender equality legislation in Mongolia, during the Gender and Development National Forum held today in Ulaanbaatar. The forum, which was also supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Government of Mongolia, launched the National Program on Gender Equality 2017-2021 to strengthen cross-sectoral coordination for gender policies in the country.

Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa opened the forum as the Chair of the National Committee on Gender Equality. About 500 representatives from the central and local governments, civil society, and donor agencies attended the forum. ADB Country Director for Mongolia Yolanda Fernandez Lommen and UNFPA Representative Naomi Kitahara delivered opening remarks.

“Gender equality is a cross-cutting theme in ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy for Mongolia. ADB is working with the Government of Mongolia to design projects that address the structural factors perpetuating gender inequality in the country,” said Ms. Fernandez Lommen. “ADB will continue supporting the implementation of the National Program on Gender Equality through forthcoming projects with a strong focus on diverse key gender aspects, including pioneering initiatives like the strengthening women’s resilience to climate change and disaster risk project, which will contribute to the creation of green jobs for women.”

ADB has been actively engaged in national gender initiatives in Mongolia since 2009 and has supported the development and enforcement of the Law on Gender Equality Promotion through institutional capacity development. Together with the government, ADB is mainstreaming the gender equality agenda of key development sectors into regular government programs at the national and aimag levels with support from the Government of Japan through the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR). Currently, ADB is processing a JFPR-funded grant project to support the enforcement of the revised Law on Combating Domestic Violence.

Continue Reading
Comments

Newsdesk

ADB Provides $360 Million for Rolling Stock to Boost Bangladesh Railway

Newsroom

Published

on

The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved loans totaling $360 million to buy modern rolling stock and support reform in Bangladesh Railway to help promote a shift from roads to rail.

“Railways in Bangladesh potentially offer a cheaper, safer, and more fuel-efficient means of transport of goods and passengers than roads, but have been held back by lack of investment and aging and unreliable rolling stock,” said Tsuneyuki Sakai, an ADB Senior Transport Specialist. “The ADB Railway Rolling Stock Operations Improvement Project will boost the operational performance of Bangladesh Railway by introducing new technology, equipment, and processes that will be cleaner and more efficient, cutting carbon dioxide emissions.”

Historically, railways enjoyed a monopoly as a carrier and transported most commodities. However, its market share has dropped because of inadequate investment in railway infrastructure and rolling stock over an extended period. This has resulted in unreliable freight operations and uncomfortable experiences for passengers. Most rolling stock is more than 30 years old, and much is past the end of its economic life. Maintenance facilities have also not improved over time and are not adequately equipped.

Under its Seventh Five-Year Plan for fiscal years 2016-2020, the government has placed special emphasis on railway development, setting targets to increase the market share to 15% in freight transport and 10% in passenger movements by 2020.

Bangladesh Railway has also been operating at a loss, its operating costs about double what it makes from revenue. Under the railway reform supported by ADB, the government has taken steps to boost revenue by raising the level of passenger and freight tariffs that have remained unchanged for decades. An increase in the operational capacity through new rolling stock is needed to generate more revenue.

Starting with a Railway Sector Improvement Program in 2006, ADB has provided four loans to the government for railway development totaling $2.81 billion. Three loans invested in network improvement in key sections of the railway, with two targeting enhanced South Asian subregional connectivity. The Railway Reform Project under the 2006 program introduced financial reforms and an enterprise resource planning information technology (IT) system. A loan approved in 2015 is also procuring rolling stock and maintenance equipment, for which work is ongoing to 2020.

This latest project seeks to address the investment and modernization needs of Bangladesh Railway. It will procure 40 broad gauge locomotives, 125 luggage vans, and 1,000 wagons for freight trains for use on major lines of the rail network. The rolling stock will introduce auxiliary power units (APU) to Bangladesh Railway, to significantly reduce diesel consumption when the locomotives are idling. The project will also draw up investment plans for urgently required maintenance facilities, establish training programs for the drivers, and run the enterprise-wide IT system.

The total cost of the project is $453.37 million, of which $93.37 will be met by the government. It is due for completion around the end of June 2022.

Accompanying the loans is a technical assistance grant of $500,000 to devise a training scheme for drivers in the use of the APU and recommend potential approaches to achieving overall energy efficiency. ADB will administer the grant, to be provided by the Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility, established by the Government of Japan.

Continue Reading

Newsdesk

Helping Armenia Thrive

Newsroom

Published

on

Despite being a landlocked country with few natural resources, Armenia has come a long way since independence in 1991, with all major socio-economic indicators drastically improved.

The Asian Development Bank now is supporting Armenia in its effort to expand its private sector, diversify its economy, cut red tape, and gain access to new markets, says Shane Rosenthal, Country Director for Armenia at the Asian Development Bank.

What is Armenia’s current state of the economy?

Since independence in 1991, Armenia has come a long way. Gross domestic product per capita has increased ten-fold in the country, in large part because of smart decisions about investment and because of good connections with its main trading partner, Russia.

We now have a country where the electricity is reliable, where most of the population has access to clean water, where business is beginning to thrive, not least because it is possible to register a business in a short amount of time. It’s possible to go to a bank and get a loan.

This economy needs to diversify into new products, into new markets. That may mean Europe, it may mean other Eurasian economic union members, and increasingly, it may mean looking eastward, toward Asia.

What role does ADB play in Armenia’s development?

ADB has focused on what it does best vis-a-vis other development partners in Armenia. And that, for us, means infrastructure.

Infrastructure in terms of connectivity, helping upgrade the national highway system so that cargo and people can reach neighboring countries more quickly, more reliably.

It means making the cities more livable with improved water supply.

How can the private sector support Armenia’s development?

Going forward it’s important to understand that Armenia’s growth can no longer depend on the public sector to play the leading role. The private sector needs to be the one that takes this country forward. And that means diversification. It means ease of doing business, and it means access to new markets.

ADB is going to focus increasingly on a balanced portfolio, between the public and private sectors. It’s clear that Armenia’s future will depend on the role that the private sector plays. And there, Armenia has many advantages: a strong financial system, a strong diaspora, with very good connections around the world, and a very strong educational base.

Continue Reading

Newsdesk

Three steps to end discrimination of migrant workers and improve their health

Afsar Syed Mohammad

Published

on

Authors: Afsar Syed Mohammad and Margherita Licata

When migrant workers leave their home, many encounter abuse and violence on their journey and discrimination once they arrive. This can be because of their status as migrants but also because of their ethnicity, sex, religion, and HIV status.

They often struggle to find decent work, which means they can end up in poor living and working conditions, which in turn affects their health. Female migrants are more likely to be vulnerable to exploitation and violence, which exposes them to the risk of HIV and other health issues.

Research has shown that migrant workers – particularly those who are in an irregular situation – often fail to access health services because of poverty, language and cultural barriers, lack of health insurance, as well as fear of job loss and deportation. It means that by the time they see a doctor, their illness has become all too serious.

Against this background, a newly launched ILO publication looks at the interplay between migration policies and those relating to broader health goals in countries of origin, transit and destination. Its key recommendation is that HIV and health policies should be integrated into the entire labour migration process.

So what can be done to ensure that migrant workers have better access to decent work, health and HIV services? The report recommends a three-pronged approach.

1) End discriminatory practices

Migrants face obstacles in accessing decent work, health as well as social protection. Whenever migrants are denied their rights, they tend to live and work in the shadows.  They become vulnerable to discrimination, exploitation and marginalization.

Discriminatory practices such as mandatory HIV testing of migrants for employment have proved to be ineffective. On the contrary, it is a violation of their rights. It disrupts access to health care and increases migrants’ vulnerability to HIV infection.

2) Set up an integrated response

It is essential to develop a response that does not just pile up ad-hoc policies one after another. Instead there needs to be an integrated and coordinated response that leads to decent work and health outcomes for migrants, including more effective HIV responses.

Right to entry does not mean the right to work for women in many countries. In such cases, women are left with no option but irregular migration which further exposes them to various forms of abuse, exploitation and risks such as HIV.

Gender-responsive migration policies would help address existing inequalities between men and women migrants, while at the same time improve their health.

3) Focus on migrant workers’ rights

There are no quick-fix solutions but discrimination and inequalities relating to HIV and health can be reduced if we focus on migrants’ rights and if we take a global approach. The report especially insists on the following priorities:

  • There is a need to target different groups of migrant workers for HIV prevention, care and treatment, depending on the specific risks that they face. For example, risks are different depending on whether they are low skilled or high skilled workers.
  • Effective responses to HIV for migrant workers should be integrated into fair recruitment initiatives, encouraging fair business practices to reduce HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and equal access to health services.
  • Health programmes and HIV prevention for migrants must be disassociated from immigration enforcement.
  • Inclusion, participation and freedom of association among migrant workers are essential pillars for effective actions on migration, health and HIV.
  • Migration and health policies and practices, in particular those relating to HIV and AIDS, should address inequalities between women and men. A gender analysis is needed from the start for all policies and practices relevant to migration and health.

*Margherita Licata, Technical Specialist Gender, Equality and Diversity and ILOAIDS Branch

Source: ILO

Continue Reading

Latest

Americas3 hours ago

Russiagate-Trump Gets Solved by Giant of American Investigative Journalism

Lucy Komisar, who is perhaps the greatest living investigative journalist, has discovered — and has documented in detail — that...

Intelligence6 hours ago

Artificial intelligence and intelligence

As was also clearly stated by Vladimir Putin on September 4, 2017: “whichever country leads the way in Artificial Intelligence...

Tech7 hours ago

How Strategy, Technology, and Operations Come Together in “The Symphonic Enterprise”

New Report shares how leading companies are looking beyond traditional domains to leverage technology broadly across the enterprise. Deloitte’s Tech...

Energy8 hours ago

Higher Shares of Renewable Energy Central to Sustainable Development Across Southeast Asia

Southeast Asian countries are on course to meet their aspirational renewable energy target of a 23 per cent share of...

Eastern Europe9 hours ago

Can Azerbaijan fall into the Turkish pitfall?

In July 1974, the 10,000-strong Turkish army, choosing the name of the gang leader Attila the Hun as the operation...

Tech10 hours ago

Digital Controllership: Finance and Accounting Robotic Process Automation a Priority

In a recent Deloitte Center for Controllership™ poll of more than 1,700 finance, accounting and other professionals, 52.8 percent say their...

Middle East11 hours ago

Why US not trustworthy ally for Turkey

Just weeks after failure of the ISIL terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, the United States announced that it is...

Newsletter

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Modern Diplomacy