south asia

"Many bilateral aid programmes to Asia have been cut by over 40 per cent and there have been complete withdrawals from some sectors such as regional health programmes in South-East Asia. There has been a lack of strategic vision in Asia so clearly demonstrated by Australia’s reduction in assistance to Myanmar as a fledgling democracy and transitioning economy. We also remain extremely concerned that the most vulnerable people living on Pacific island nations are inadequately protected from climate change,” Purcell tells SciDev.Net. 

When eight-year-old Sita, an orphan from one of the most marginalized sections of Indian society – developed a fever, her condition gradually worsened despite her family’s efforts to treat her. [...] But she was lucky. Correct treatment was administered and she was saved. Ten years ago, this story may have ended differently.[...] Much of the recent legwork has come from an international consortium called Tackling Visceral Leishmaniasis in South Asia and East Africa (KalaCORE), backed by £21.5m of funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID.

The successful launch of the South Asian Satellite from Sriharikota onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) on Friday not only reiterated the technological prowess of India’s space agency, but was also a landmark in science diplomacy in the region. This is the first time a communication satellite built and launched by India will be put to the common use of South Asian countries. 

India embarks on space diplomacy like never before. For the first time, New Delhi is flexing its prowess of space technology by embarking on an unprecedented and un-chartered 'stratospheric diplomacy' through a special Rs 450 crore gift for South Asians. India is carving a very unique place in the universe, this week New Delhi will 'gift' a heavyweight bird in the sky to its neighbours through the 'South Asia Satellite'.

At a time when Pakistan-US relations are possibly at the lowest ebb for a number of reasons, few people remember or even know of the peak days when a US first lady visited Pakistan and extensively travelled across the country to a rousing welcome by thousands of men, women and children 55 years ago. From Karachi to Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, people were seen lining the roads and streets, waving, cheering and cherishing their country’s friendship with the United States.

At the embassy level, ambassadors may be viewed as digital gatekeepers. Studies have shown that embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as an important resource are likely to be active online and to utilize digital tools in innovative ways. Conversely, embassies headed by ambassadors who view digital platforms as a risk are likely to be inactive online.

There are several apparent motives behind the Taliban’s outreach: to decrease misperceptions and concerns about the Taliban and strive to change international opinion, which is currently stacked against them; to get supports for the Taliban’s war against U.S. “occupation”; to negotiate prisoner swaps; and to discuss the Afghan peace process.

Sri Lanka’s diaspora-to-population ratio is known to be one of the highest in the South Asian region. Sri Lanka is now exploring ways to engage its overseas community for future growth and reconciliation. Engaging these stakeholders in development (and ultimately reconciliation) necessarily relies upon sound knowledge of who they are. 

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