Asia and Pacific Current Affairs - 2020

World Bank: 11 million to enter poverty in Pacific and East Asia

On March 31, 2020, the World Bank announced that around 11 million are to enter poverty in Pacific and East Asia due to the spread of COVID-19. The virus has affected more than 780,000 and has so far killed more than 37,000.

Highlights

According to the World Bank, around 35 million people in Pacific and Asia will escape poverty. This includes 25 million in China alone. The bank has projected the growth in the region to be slow and around 2.1%. In 2019, the bank had estimated the growth of the region as 5.8%.

The bank has projected growth rate of China as 2.3%. Earlier, in 2019, it had predicted China’s growth rate as 6.1%.

Suggestions

The bank recommends more investments in the health sector. It suggests for macroeconomic policies and integrated containment of the virus. The World Bank also recommends targeted fiscal measures such as health care and subsidies for sick pay. This will make sure the temporary deprivation is not converted into long term human capital losses.

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ESIC wins ISSA GOOD Practice Award, Asia and Pacific 2018

Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) was awarded ISSA (International Social Security Association) ISSA Good Practice Award for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and Pacific held at Kuala Lumpur, capital Malaysia.

The award was given to ESIC in recognition of its measures taken for extension of coverage Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees (SPREE), reduced rate of contribution rates for 24 months in newly implemented areas and raising wage limit for coverage under ESI Act, etc.

Key Facts

Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific is triennial (held every three year) forum that provides unique opportunities to CEOs and Managers of ISSA Member Institutions to discuss key social security challenges and share their experiences. It is most important social security event in Asia-Pacific region. For this forum, ISSA invites submissions for ISSA Good Practices Award for Asia and Pacific Regions.

International Social Security Association (ISSA)

It is principal international organization for Social Security Organizations, Governments and Departments of Social Security.  It was founded in 1927 under auspices of International Labour Organization (ILO). It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in ILO. Its mandate is to promotes excellence in social security administration through professional guidelines, expert knowledge, services and support to enable its Members to develop dynamic social security systems. ISSA has more than 330 member organizations in 158 countries.

Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC)

ESIC is autonomous corporation under Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, which manages employee’s state insurance i.e. self-financing social security and health insurance scheme for Indian workers. It is statutory body established under Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. It is headquartered in New Delhi. ESIC hosts ISSA Liaison Office for South Asia in New Delhi. This liasion office coordinates with member countries and social security institutions in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Iran on activities of ISSA related to social security.

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