Covid-19

As the Covid-19 crisis continues, The Asia Foundation is focusing program efforts to combat the public health implications and the economic and social issues exacerbated by the global pandemic. The multiple challenges created by the far-reaching crisis have disproportionately impacted the region’s most vulnerable groups including women, youth, migrants, and low-wage workers. The Asia Foundation’s permanent 18 country offices and longstanding relationships with local partners have been crucial to identifying urgent needs and mobilizing responses to realities on the ground. We are working closely with partners, donors, and counterparts in government, civil society, and the private sector to repurpose existing programs and develop new initiatives to address immediate needs as well as the longer-term impacts of the pandemic. Below are examples of the Foundation’s response to the evolving Covid-19 situation.
 

Counseling the Counselors amid Covid-19

September 16, 2020

Blog Post

Sri Lanka’s national mental health service has been overwhelmed by the pandemic. A new program is giving stressed-out counselors professional support and guidance to navigate the Covid crisis.

 

Afghanistan Flash Surveys to Glean Data on Perceptions of Women, Peace, the Economy, and Covid-19

September 16, 2020

Blog Post

A new series of quarterly assessments comes at a pivotal moment for Afghanistan, as peace talks open with the Taliban and Covid-19 runs unchecked in the population.

 

Nikkei News Features Asia Foundation Op-Ed on Thailand’s Looming Economic Crisis

September 9, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Nikkei Asian Review publishes an op-ed written by the Foundation’s Country Representative in Thailand Thomas Parks. The article highlights key findings from Enduring the Pandemic: Surveys of the Impact of Covid-19 on Thai Small Businesses. Beyond Thailand’s success in limiting the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis, two other crises are unfolding… Read more

 

Enduring the Pandemic: Surveys of the Impact of Covid-19 on Thai Small Businesses

September 8, 2020

Publication

While Thailand has been largely successful in stemming the tide of Covid-19 infections, the economic impact could outlast the pandemic. The severe economic shock of this pandemic will only deepen existing inequalities and may fan smoldering political tensions. Enduring the Pandemic: Surveys of the Impact of Covid-19 on Thai Small Businesses reveals… Read more

 

Covid-19 Report: Nepal

September 8, 2020

Publication

The Asia Foundation has worked alongside government partners, civil society, and communities in Nepal for 30 years. In Nepal, the Foundation has a long history of supporting and encouraging peaceful resolution of conflict at the national and subnational levels; enhancing women’s rights and security; supporting accountable local governance; and broa… Read more

 

The Asia Foundation and H&M Foundation Support Women Garment Workers in Bangladesh

September 1, 2020

News Post

The Asia Foundation has joined the H&M Foundation in a new partnership to coordinate immediate disaster relief for female garment workers in Bangladesh who have been impacted by Covid-19. In addition, through this partnership The Asia Foundation and the H&M Foundation are working to address the longer-term needs, welfare, and livelihoods of… Read more

 

Virtual Event – Enduring the Pandemic: Surveys of the Impact of Covid-19 on the Livelihoods of Thai People

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Events Post

9:00 am – 10:00 am EDT (Washington DC) 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm ICT (Bangkok) REGISTER FOR ZOOM EVENT While Thailand has been largely successful in stemming the tide of Covid-19 infections, the economic impact has been severe and could very well outlast the pandemic. The severe economic shock of this pandemic will only deepen existing inequalities and may… Read more

 

Covid Lays Bare the Flaws in Asia’s Booming Megacities

August 19, 2020

Blog Post

After 20 years of dazzling growth, Asia is now home to nearly half of the world’s urban population. Now, Covid-19 is revealing how this breakneck growth has left behind the very citizens whose toil has built Asia’s prosperity.

 

Safe Home Initiative Supports Pakistan Communities Hit Hard by Covid-19

August 19, 2020

Blog Post

Pakistan emerged strong from the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, but the coronavirus is a crisis of a different color. In a society already suffering from poor and inequitable healthcare and social services, the pandemic has had an outsized impact on the most vulnerable populations.

 

Covid-19 Is a Feminist Issue

August 19, 2020

Blog Post

Across the Asia-Pacific and around the globe, Covid-19 is having a disproportionate impact on women and girls. A recent Asia Foundation webinar explored feminist strategies to mitigate the gendered effects of the pandemic.

 

How Have Myanmar’s Conflicts Been Affected by Covid-19 and What Should be Done About it

August 19, 2020

Publication

The Covid-19 crisis has had mixed impacts on Myanmar’s disparate conflicts and the ongoing peace process. The pandemic response has highlighted deep fragmentation across Myanmar society, in particular along ethnic lines. Large parts of the population, especially in areas affected by violent conflict, rely on civil society or ethnic armed groups for… Read more

 

Youth Activists Combat Covid-19 Misinformation in Thailand

August 18, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

In Thailand’s far south, where a vast majority of the two million residents identify themselves as Melayu, a group of youth activists collectively known as The Motive use digital content to combat misinformation on Covid-19. After the region experienced a second wave of conflict that claimed more than 7,000 lives in the last 17 years, it more recen… Read more

 

Elevating Youth Voices Across Thailand

August 18, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

Young Moves is a Chiang Mai-based civil society organization that came together three years ago as a platform for youth from all four regions of Thailand to engage in socio-political issues impacting their generation. The youth group emphasizes respect and dignity for all people, regardless of their identity. Thaksin Bamrungthai, better known as To… Read more

 

The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation Partner to Respond to the Impact of Covid-19 on Women and Girls in Asia

August 11, 2020

News Post

The Visa Foundation and The Asia Foundation launched a new partnership to support women’s economic advancement and address rising incidences of gender-based violence (GBV) across Malaysia, Myanmar, and Nepal. This partnership is part of The Visa Foundation’s commitment to support small and micro-business that aligns with its long-term focus on wome… Read more

 

Communicating Vital Information in Myanmar Through Storybooks

July 31, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

Stories are an innate part of the human experience. From oral storytelling around fires to digital bursts consumed globally, the way in which we share stories has evolved but their purpose remains the same: sharing information. In Myanmar, The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read team works with local publisher Third Story Project in merging traditional an… Read more

 

Overcoming As 14: The Role of State and Region Governments in Supporting Myanmar’s Covid-19 Economic Response Plan

July 29, 2020

Publication

In Myanmar, the recently released Overcoming as One: Covid-19 Economic Relief Plan (CERP) sets out the Union government’s economic response to Covid-19, ranging from action on personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement to direct cash transfers to households. The CERP outlines an ambitious economic response to Covid-19 and provides a useful too… Read more

 

Timor-Leste Covid-19 Survey

July 29, 2020

Publication

The Covid-19, or coronavirus, global pandemic has required huge responses from governments all over the world. Timor-Leste has its own unique requirements when addressing an event of this magnitude. The Government of Timor-Leste responded by declaring a state of emergency, which closed schools, suspended public transport and large gatherings, insti… Read more

 

Sri Lanka’s Youth Discover Values4All during the Global Pandemic

July 22, 2020

Blog Post

When discriminatory content broke out on social media during Sri Lanka’s ongoing coronavirus curfew, a program for young people, called Values4All, used its online presence and some special tools to push for tolerance, compassion, and unity in crisis.

 

Notes from Colombo: Sri Lanka Weathers the Covid-19 Storm

July 8, 2020

Blog Post

April is usually a festive month in Sri Lanka, but this year the New Year holiday was spent praying for a relaxed curfew and the end of Covid-19. As we enter July, the author considers how Sri Lanka has managed the crisis.

 

Afghanistan’s Covid-19 Bargain

June 24, 2020

Blog Post

Battered by conflict and dependent on dwindling foreign aid, Afghanistan may have no alternative but to let the virus run its course. Yet, amid their suffering, Afghans are also finding solidarity and political initiative.

 

Mongolia’s Lessons on Democracy during a Pandemic

June 24, 2020

Blog Post

Mongolia holds parliamentary elections today, June 24, in a political landscape transformed by Covid-19. A case in point: the nation’s clever and ambitious “virtual” parliament.

 

In a Time of Covid-19, Screen-Time Worries Miss the Point  

June 24, 2020

Blog Post

Parents of locked-down children are more worried than ever about screen time. But preparing children for the future won’t happen by looking backwards to a pre-screen world that has already come and gone.m Today’s kids need screen-time mentors, not screen-time monitors

 

Myanmar Times Cites Asia Foundation Survey on Business Impact of Covid-19

June 15, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Myanmar Times cites data from The Asia Foundation’s latest national survey, Myanmar Business Environment Index: Covid-19 Impact on Business, assessing the pandemics impact on businesses across the country. A nationwide poll of 750 local businesses—the largest survey so far of the impact of the pandemic—covered the two weeks ending May 10. During th… Read more

 

Covid-19 vs Climate Change: What Can We Learn?

June 10, 2020

Blog Post

If humanity can put our economies on hold to fight a global threat like Covid-19, why haven’t we been able to take similar measures to confront a global killer like climate change?

 

Opportunity in Crisis: Making Green Energy the New Normal

June 10, 2020

Blog Post

Some of the most indelible images of the pandemic have been the brilliant skies that replaced toxic smog as the world stayed home and fossil-fuel use plunged. With renewables now cheaper than coal, green energy’s time has come.

 

In Nepal, Federalism, Health Policy, and the Pandemic

June 10, 2020

Blog Post

Across Nepal, the coronavirus pandemic is confronting cities and towns with a defining challenge to that nation’s nascent federal system, as young local governments struggle to meet their constitutional public-health mandate.

 

Working from Home: Not the Utopia We Were Expecting

June 10, 2020

Blog Post

“Before the pandemic took over our lives, we all sometimes wished we could simply work from home,” writes the author. “So why do 85 percent of my colleagues want to come back to the office as soon as possible?”

 

Virtual Event – Covid-19 and the Indian Platform Economy: Is There Room for Women?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Events Post

The growing platform-based economy greatly benefited India’s youth who looking for work in urban areas. This sector has been particularly attractive for women, though they still face many uncertainties and challenges. How has women’s participation and benefit from this sector changed in light of the Covid-19 pandemic? In this new normal, is there s… Read more

 

Virtual Parliaments: Principles and Practices

June 3, 2020

Publication

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in measures to control the spread of the virus in most countries, including social distancing and instructions to work from home for many workers. Parliaments are a key governance institution and it is essential that their functions should be able to continue during this time, but also that they are following the… Read more

 

CNN Cites Asia Foundation Report on Internet Access in the Philippines

May 20, 2020

Media Coverage Post

CNN Philippines cites The Asia Foundation’s Improving Internet Access in the Philippines in an article assessing how the COVID-19 crisis and internet accessibility is disproportionally affecting the productivity of underserved communities. Since then, government and non-government organizations have cooperated to push for policy reforms to nar… Read more

a large group of men wait, some talking on cell phones 

Malaysia’s Marginalized and Covid-19

May 13, 2020

Blog Post

Covid-19 is putting governance in Malaysia to the test, particularly in how it treats marginalized and undocumented migrants and refugees.

construction equipment and half-built structures in Nepal mountains 

The Day the Workers Started Walking Home

May 13, 2020

Blog Post

When Nepal abruptly shut down in late March, it triggered an exodus of Nepali workers from the cities. A rapid assessment survey shows that Nepal can still put its once-promising economy back together, but only if things are handled right.

 

The Impact of Covid-19 Lockdown on Nepal’s Construction Sector

May 13, 2020

Publication

This paper presents an assessment of the challenges faced by the construction sector in Nepal in the aftermath of the nationwide lockdown announced on March 22. This report has been produced with the generous support of the World Bank in Nepal. The opinions expressed here are solely of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the World B… Read more

three people sit on the set of a talk show wearing face shields 

Asia Foundation’s ThailandLearning.org Featured on NBT World TV

May 12, 2020

Media Coverage Post

The National Broadcasting Services of Thailand, a television station owned and operated by the Thai government, interviews Country Representative Thomas Parks and Senior Program Officer Rattana Lao on ThailandLearning.org, a new online learning portal for 13 million Thai students and educators affected by Covid-19.  

 

The Asia Foundation Launches Thailandlearning.org for Millions of Students and Educators Affected by Covid-19

May 8, 2020

News Post

The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Embassy in Thailand, has launched Thailandlearning.org, a new online learning portal for 13 million Thai students and educators impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. With school closure through July 1, 2020, the pandemic is disrupting lear… Read more

a woman uses her laptop at a table while her daughter reads a workbook beside her 

Coronavirus Dispatches, April 29

April 29, 2020

Blog Post

Schools in Asia are mostly shut down, but family life goes on; and women in Kabul drive solar sanitizer carts. Dispatches from our staff in the field.

side by side comparison of poor air quality and clear blue sky 

Will We Seize the Chance for a Green Post-Virus Future?

April 29, 2020

Blog Post

As the world stays home, clear skies are replacing toxic smog from Los Angeles to New Delhi. The question now is not how long it will take after the lockdowns end for clean air to disappear, but whether governments will choose to allow it.

woman in face mask washes her hand in front of banner that encourages handwashing 

Funding the Frontline: Rapid Response to the Gendered Impacts of Covid-19 in Asia

April 29, 2020

Blog Post

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to have acute effects on women and girls in Asia. Thanks to the flexibility of our donors and partners, our existing projects have pivoted to confront the emergency. 

 

The Asia Foundation’s Community-Centered Response to Covid-19

April 23, 2020

News Post

As the Covid-19 crisis continues, The Asia Foundation is focusing program efforts to combat the public health implications and the economic and social issues exacerbated by the global pandemic. The multiple challenges created by the far-reaching crisis have disproportionately impacted the region’s most vulnerable groups including women, youth, migr… Read more

 

Asia Foundation’s Mobile App in Nepal Delivers Covid-19 Updates to Returnee Migrants

April 22, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre blog features a piece written by The Asia Foundation’s Nicola Nixon, Suswopna Rimal, and Pranaya Sthapit on the Foundation’s Shuvayatra app providing real-time Covid-19 updates for returnee migrants in Nepal. In Nepal, The Asia Foundation is fortunate to be an active member of the country’s… Read more

 

The Asia Foundation’s Covid-19 Information Portal Equips Local Government in the Philippines

April 17, 2020

News Post

The Asia Foundation Philippines launched the LGU vs. COVID PH information portal to empower provinces, cities, and municipalities with access to verified information and tools in the country’s battle against Covid-19. In the Philippines, local government units (more commonly known as LGUs) are vital in mitigating community risks during the health c… Read more

 

Coronavirus Dispatches, April 15

April 15, 2020

Blog Post

Myanmar braces for the coming pandemic, the plight of Pakistan’s most vulnerable, and Nepal’s lockdown blues—dispatches from our staff in the field.

 

Peace and the Pandemic: The Impact of Covid-19 on Conflict in Asia

April 15, 2020

Blog Post

Disasters and crises shine an unforgiving light on society’s problems. As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads across conflict zones, the impact will be unpredictable and potentially catastrophic.

 

In Asia, Not All Homes Are Safe: We Need an Urgent Shift in Thinking

April 15, 2020

Blog Post

Even before Covid-19 lockdowns were put in place, experts were warning of the additional dangers they could pose to women.

 

Still Recovering from the Earthquake, Nepal Faces Covid-19

April 15, 2020

Blog Post

The Covid-19 crisis may feel familiar to Nepalis. Just five years ago, Nepal was reeling from another disaster that destroyed critical infrastructure and cut people off from vital goods and services.

 

Hygiene Kits for Covid-19 Response in Pakistan

April 9, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

The Asia Foundation’s Pakistan office joins the efforts of the Government of Pakistan at this difficult time to partner with the District Administration Rawalpindi in their multi-pronged response to Covid-19. To support the response of District Administration Rawalpindi, The Asia Foundation is partnering with Rawalpindi V-Force in Pakistan to disse… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Launches Rapid Response Fund to Address Gendered Impacts of Covid-19

San Francisco, April 8, 2020

News Post

The gendered impact of Covid-19 continues to play out in countries and communities across the globe, with acute effects on women and girls. These include a dramatic rise in gender-based violence amidst quarantines and lockdowns, women’s loss of economic security, increased caregiving demands that fall largely on women, and the increased risks to wo… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Sounds Alarm on Surge in Gender Based Violence During Covid-19 Lockdowns

April 8, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre blog co-publishes an analysis with The Asia Foundation on the increase of domestic violence due to shelter-in-place policies and what needs to be done to protect women’s safety. Unintended consequences of policy responses are only ‘unintended’ when no-one could have foreseen them. The incre… Read more

 

Let’s Read at Home: A New Resource to Support Out of School Children

April 2, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

At this moment, 9 out of 10 children in the world are out of school. The global Covid-19 pandemic has left millions of children without the essential support of teachers, librarians, and community centers. As a result, parents are frantically finding new ways to help their children continue to learn and grow from their own homes. As the timeline of… Read more

 

Coronavirus Dispatches, April 1

April 1, 2020

Blog Post

As the global health crisis unfolds, Asia Foundation staff send reports from the field.

 

Nepali Labor Migrants, Covid-19, and the State

April 1, 2020

Blog Post

Remittances from overseas workers make up a quarter of Nepal’s GDP. But the pandemic has suddenly put these migrant heroes of the national economy in a precarious position.

 

Asia Foundation Trustee Adil Najam Moderates Coronavirus Livestream Discussion

April 1, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Asia Foundation trustee and Dean of Boston University’s Pardee School of Grant Studies Adil Najam moderates a seminar “Coronavirus and the Future of Infectious Disease,” on April 1. The seminar features a discussion between Nahid Bhadelia (associate professor, Medicine/Infectious Diseases, BU School of Medicine), Davidson Hamer (professor, Global H… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Insights on Development Programs and Covid-19 in the Philippines

March 27, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre features analysis from Country Representative in the Philippines Sam Chittick, Director of Governance Nicola Nixon, and Program Director Jaime Faustino on how the Foundation’s Coalitions for Change program in the Philippines is responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past couple of we… Read more

 

Addressing the Covid-19 Crisis

March 27, 2020

News Post

As Covid-19 continues to spread, The Asia Foundation is responding. There are significant implications for public health and safety, economic security, governance, and political stability across Asia, and the Foundation is refocusing its work to battle the emerging global Covid-19 pandemic. Our 18 country offices are communicating closely with our… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Trustees Kounalakis and Lampton Discuss Covid-19 on World Affairs/KQED

March 24, 2020

Media Coverage Post

Current Asia Foundation trustee Markos Kounalakis interviews chairman emeritus David M. Lampton in this week’s World Affairs’ broadcast on the Covid-19 crisis, U.S.-China relations, and how we got where we are today. Breaking news about novel coronavirus is dominating headlines, making the context we need to understand it more important than ever…. Read more

 

New Children’s Digital Book Explains Covid-19 for Children

March 24, 2020

Program Snapshot Post

With the spread of Covid-19 and many countries experiencing shelter in place orders, the need for resources to help children understand the world around them and maintain normalcy in their lives is greater than ever. In response, The Asia Foundation’s Let’s Read initiative has published COVIBOOK, written by Manuela Molina Cruz, and available to any… Read more

 

The Asia Foundation Covid-19 Response

San Francisco, March 11, 2020

News Post

  Dear Members of The Asia Foundation Community, The health and safety of our community, partners, grantees, and employees is our top priority. As the Covid-19 health emergency unfolds, we are working hard to continue the Foundation’s important programs focused on improving lives and expanding opportunities on the ground in Asia. Each day we a… Read more