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Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021: ADB

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  • 26 Aug 2021
  • 4 min read

Why in News

Recently, Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report titled as the Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021.

  • The report demonstrated that the region made substantial progress in the last two decades with respect to several development targets.
  • It presents comprehensive economic, financial, social and environmental statistics for ADB’s 49 regional members.

Asian Development Bank

  • About:
    • It is a regional development bank established in 1966. It has 68 members. India is a founding member.
      • 49 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
    • As of 31st December 2019, ADB’s five largest shareholders are Japan and the United States (each with 15.6% of total shares), the People’s Republic of China (6.4%), India (6.3%), and Australia (5.8%).
  • Aim:
    • To promote social and economic development in Asia and the Pacific.
  • Headquarters:
    • Manila, Philippines.

Key Points

  • Poverty:
    • The pandemic pushed 75-80 million people in the developing Asia-Pacific into extreme poverty in 2020.
    • About 203 million people — 5.2% of developing Asia’s population — lived in extreme poverty as of 2017.
      • Without Covid-19, that number would have declined to an estimated 2.6% in 2020.
  • Contribution to Global GDP:
    • Asia and the Pacific's economy has grown at a robust pace in recent years and contributed as much as 35% to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in current US dollars in 2019.
    • But Covid-19 took a toll just when weaker domestic investment and slowing global trade and economic activity started to challenge this momentum.
  • Household Income:
    • A significant number of households engaged in business were severely affected by the pandemic.
      • Among households engaged in agriculture or relying on wages and salary, more than half reported an increase in income, no change or a decrease of less than 26%.
  • Unemployment:
    • As unemployment rates increased by at least 20% in 2020 due to the pandemic across the globe, the Asia-Pacific region lost an estimated 8% of working hours.
    • As businesses were disrupted, many workers lost their jobs, leading to higher unemployment and underemployment rates.
  • Labour Force Participation:
    • From 2019 to 2020, labour force participation rates among women, on average, declined by 1.4%, while labour force participation rates among men declined by 0.8%.
    • 71% of Asia-Pacific’s workforce is now in non-agricultural employment. From 2000-2019, the region’s non-agricultural employment rate grew to 71% from 52%, one of the fastest growth rates worldwide.
  • Sustainable Development:
  • Children Related Data:
    • The prevalence of undernourishment decreased from more than 521 million people in 2001 to 316 million in 2019.
    • Almost all learners in the region were affected by closure of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • Despite efforts to continue school activities through remote learning, poorer students suffered greater disruption to their education during the pandemic.

Way Forward

  • Asia and the Pacific has made impressive strides, but Covid-19 has revealed social and economic fault lines that may weaken the region's sustainable and inclusive development.
  • To achieve the SDG of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, decision makers need to harness high-quality and timely data as a guide for actions to ensure that the recovery leaves no one behind – especially the poor and vulnerable.

Source: DTE

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