The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have announced 26 new research projects in Asia funded through the Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) program a joint initiative designed to foster collaborative global research. Through this competitive grants program, USAID directly supports researchers in developing countries who work with U.S. government-funded U.S. scientists. Two of new projects are funded by USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia and will strengthen regional biodiversity research networks and enhance coordinated data collection and monitoring to inform development and policy interventions.
Purpose: The majority of Asia’s population now lives in cities. The percentage of national populations living in urban areas in developing Asia ranges from 15% in Sri Lanka to as high as 74% in Malaysia. While Asia is home to over a dozen megacities with populations of over 10 million, most of the growth in urban dwellers has been occurring in smaller towns and cities. Most of these cities are built along the coast, which makes them vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly in countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, and the Philippines, which are facing significant climate impacts. The rate of urbanization continues to accelerate while the consequences of climate change, in terms of duration and intensity, are increasing rapidly. Unless we are able to look at these trends and recalibrate our programming, we will be addressing only today’s crises and not tomorrow’s challenges. The core objective of this workshop is to integrate strategic foresight on urbanization trends and solutions in the development program planning process.
As we know recurrent crises affect countries around the world, and last year alone killed more than 20,000 people. Today we are focusing on Asia, and I will briefly provide some relevant data points to help set the stage for our discussion. First, in Bangladesh, rising sea levels threaten to drown one-fifth of the country’s landmass, where 18 million people now reside. In Nepal, over 2 million live on potentially hazardous fault lines, where earthquakes could cause severe damage. According to the World Bank, $1 out of $3 dollars in development funding is lost as a result of recurrent crises, totaling $3.8 trillion over the last 30 years.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Rockefeller Foundation have announced a $100 million Global Resilience Partnership that lays out a bold new vision for building resilience to disasters, food insecurity, the effects of climate change and other factors contributing to poverty in communities across Asia and Africa.
Last updated: August 29, 2014