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ASIA 2011

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People at night in Dharavi. As many as a million people live and work in Dharavi, a sprawling slum in Mumbai, India. Photo: Adam Ferguson/New York Times  

As many as a million people live and work in Dharavi, a sprawling slum in Mumbai, India. Photo: Adam Ferguson/New York Times  

In one slum, misery, work, politics, and hope  Jim Yardley New York Times December 28, 2011 

Vietnam: From rice to shrimps and ginger - adapting to saltwater intrusion caused by rising sea levels IRIN News December 28, 2011

Lentils in Nepal (short video) IRIN News December 2011

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dies; hundreds of thousands starved as police state kept the world on edge Adam Bernstein Washington Post December 19, 2011 US, North Korea resume talks on food aid William Wan Washington Post December 15, 2011

Typhoon kills 1000 in Philippines BBC News December 20, 2011

Public and private agencies in Pakistan are advocating contraception to curb the country’s surging population, prevent deaths during childbirth and help provide better lives for those who are born. But in this deeply conservative society, women themselves are often the least able to decide, and the people who can — husbands, mullahs, mothers-in-law — still prize many children, particularly boys.  

As Pakistan's population soars, contraceptives remain a hard sell Karin Brulliard Washington Post December 14, 2011  

Three million Afghans face hunger as winter looms--aid groups Alertnet/Reuters November 18, 2011

How fear drove world rice markets insane Dan Charles NPR November 2, 2011 Food: Causes of high and fluctuating food prices IRIN News October 17, 2011 Speculation on food commodities may harm the hungry Marilyn Geewax NPR October 16, 2011 See Hunger Notes special report: The world food and hunger crisis

The latest Demographic and Health Survey for Nepal shows that more than half of the children in remote rural areas are chronically malnourished, and most of them are girls. “Girls are neglected because they are thought not to need strength,” Indra Raj Panta, programme officer for Decentralized Action for Children and Women in Jumla, told IRIN.  Photo: Natalie Bailey/IRIN

Nepal: Gender discrimination fuels malnutrition IRIN News September 22, 2011

A migrant farm worker peers into an iris scanner in New Delhi in the first effort to officially record each Indian's identity as an individual.  Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Scanning 2.4 billion eyes, India tries to connect poor to growth Lydia Polgreen New York Times September 1, 2011

For the past decade, hundreds of Afghan war widows have convened on a slope known as Tapaye Zanabad (the hill that women built) building mud hovels by hand and living as a community of sisters.  Photo: Washington Post

Afghan widows form community on Kabul hill Joshua Partlow Washington Post August 15, 2011

Pakistan: Hunger stalks millions as food insecurity grows. The cause is the rise in food prices combined with extreme poverty; food is available, but poor people can't afford enough of it to avoid hunger. Almost half of the population is food insecure, according to the best estimate.  IRIN News August 5, 2011  See Hunger Notes special report: The world food and hunger crisis

Afghanistan worst place in the world for women, but India in top five. Survey shows Congo, Pakistan and Somalia also fail females, with rape, poverty and infanticide rife. Owen Bowcott The Guardian June 15, 2011 Also see Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men Mara Hvistendahl Reviewd by Elaine Showalter Washington Post July 1, 2011

Woman breastfeeding baby. Breastfeeding babies is vital, say experts."Some of the marketing strategy presents formula as better than breastfeeding,” Laurence Gray, World Vision’s Asia-Pacific advocacy director, told IRIN. In developing countries, formula is frequently prepared in unhygienic circumstances with unsafe water and misunderstood instructions. “In poor nations, formula-fed infants are four to six times more likely to die of infectious disease than breastfed babies," said Gray. "The problem is not with the formula, but with the preparation," he added.  See Wikipedia Nestlé boycott for historica background on this issue. Photo: UNICEF

Breastfeeding babies is vital, say experts."Some of the [Nestle] marketing strategy presents formula as better than breastfeeding,” Laurence Gray, World Vision’s Asia-Pacific advocacy director, told IRIN. However, in developing countries, formula is frequently prepared in unhygienic circumstances with unsafe water and misunderstood instructions, with bad results for babies. “In poor nations, formula-fed infants are four to six times more likely to die of infectious disease than breastfed babies," said Gray. "The problem is not with the formula, but with the preparation," he added.   Photo: UNICEF

Laos: NGOs flay Nestlé’s infant formula marketing, some of which presents infant formula as better than breastfeeding IRIN News June 23, 2011  See Wikipedia Nestlé boycott for historical background on this issue.  

“Domestic workers face beatings, sexual abuse, non-payment of wages and human trafficking situations. They run the gamut of physical and mental abuse used to control someone and in some households it is a slave owner mentality,” said Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Director in Asia Phil Robertson. “There are enough cases of abuse that there has to be some sort of protective framework for these domestic workers.” To activists and domestic workers celebrating both in Geneva and abroad, the most groundbreaking part of the document is the acknowledgment that domestic work is, in fact, work.  Photo: David Swanson/IRIN

“Domestic workers face beatings, sexual abuse, non-payment of wages and human trafficking situations. They run the gamut of physical and mental abuse used to control someone and in some households it is a slave owner mentality,” said Human Rights Watch (HRW) Deputy Director in Asia Phil Robertson. “There are enough cases of abuse that there has to be some sort of protective framework for these domestic workers.” To activists and domestic workers celebrating both in Geneva and abroad, the most groundbreaking part of the document is the acknowledgment that domestic work is, in fact, work.  Photo: David Swanson/IRIN

Nepal: No clear way out of servitude for girls sent to work as household servants IRIN News June 20, 2011 International Labor Organization passes convention giving rights to domestic workers IRIN News June 17, 2011

Feeding children has become harder for impoverished families, some of whom can no longer afford to provide a decent meal for them “We can no longer manage to offer our five children even a single decent meal. Prices are too high, I was recently laid off from my factory and now do only odd jobs, earning around Rs. 6,000 [US$70] a month. Almost the entire amount goes on buying food,” Fareed Ahmed, a textile factory worker, told IRIN. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

Feeding children has become harder for impoverished families, some of whom can no longer afford to provide a decent meal for them “We can no longer manage to offer our five children even a single decent meal. Prices are too high, I was recently laid off from my factory and now do only odd jobs, earning around Rs. 6,000 [US$70] a month. Almost the entire amount goes on buying food,” Fareed Ahmed, a textile factory worker, told IRIN. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

Pakistan: Selling children to pay off a debt IRIN News June 6, 2011

In India, fresh clashes over rural land as farmers stand up to government Simon Denyer Washington Post May 21, 2011

Very large Indian program to help poor and hungry people 'beset by corruption'  World Bank says Jill McGivering BBC News May 18, 2011

Kurram Agency is one of the seven tribal agencies on the Pakistan-Afghan border. The ongoing violence has resulted in hundreds of deaths and large-scale displacements from Kurram.  Photo: ReliefWeb

Kurram Agency is one of the seven tribal agencies on the Pakistan-Afghan border. The ongoing violence has resulted in hundreds of deaths and large-scale displacements from Kurram.  Photo: ReliefWeb

Pakistan: Driven out of Kurram Agency by violence IRIN News May 17, 2011 US aid plan for Pakistan is floundering Jane Perlez New York Times May 1, 2011 See Hunger Notes special report on development assistance and debt forgiveness

US to send envoy to North Korea to consider food aid Mary Beth Sheridan Washington Post May 20, 2011   North Korea, after a famine that killed nearly one million people in the 1990s, now nears the brink of a second food disaster with 3.5 million people severely malnourished and at risk of starvation, World Food Program says Kanya D'Almeida IPS May 5, 2011 See the WFP emergency assessment report and the earlier FAO/WFP  food security assessment. For up-to-date volunteer reporting on the famine in North Korea see North Korea Today. See available information on the (almost totally unfunded) WFP proposed program. North Korea's pleas for food aid draw suspicion Lousia Lim National Public Radio April 12, 2011

US aid plan for Pakistan is floundering Jane Perlez New York Times May 1, 2011 See Hunger Notes special report on development assistance and debt forgiveness

Microfinance institutions in Bangladesh pushed loans, major NGO admits IRIN News April 20, 2011

China activist Liu Xianbin jailed for 10 years Michael Bristow BBC News March 25, 2011  

Garbage floating on stagnant water, a situation that promotes disease.  A new government study indicates that the water was unsafe to drink in 82 percent of water sources tested in districts across all four of Pakistan's provinces. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

Garbage floating on stagnant water, a situation that promotes disease.  A new government study indicates that the water was unsafe to drink in 82 percent of water sources tested in districts across all four of Pakistan's provinces. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN  

Pakistan: Unsafe water kills 250,000 children a year  IRIN News April 19, 2011 See more nutrition and health stories

The worst nuclearaccident since the Chernobyl explosion in 1986 is unfolding in northern Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.  Three reactors have been critically damaged and one  caught fire.  Photo: New York Times

The worst nuclearaccident since the Chernobyl explosion in 1986 is unfolding in northern Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.  Three reactors have been critically damaged and one  caught fire.  Photo: New York Times

After Japan's quake and tsunami, freezing weather threatens relief efforts. Many of those hit by the disaster lack blankets, food and fuel, raising fears of a quiet but deadly humanitarian crisis guardian. co.uk March 16, 2011 (How to contribute to the Japanese Red Cross) Japan steps closer to a full blown nuclear catastrophe Steven Mufson and Chico Harlan Washington Post March 15, 2011 Last defense at troubled reactors: 50 Japanese workers Keith Bradsher and Hiroko Tabuchi New York Times March 15, 2011

As other authoritarian leaders fall, North Korea pushes ahead with succession plan Chico Harlan Washington Post March 13, 2011

Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan's sole Christian minister, is assassinated in Islamabad --the second liberal minister killed this year who spoke out against anti-blasphemy laws Karin Brulliard and Shaiq Hussain  Washington Post March 2, 2011

Vietnam struggles to cope with rising prices IRIN News March 1, 2011 See Hunger Notes special report: The 2011 food and hunger crisis

Students get a hot lunch at a school in Beri, India

Students get a hot lunch at a school in Beri, India. Photo: Ben Arnoldy/Christian Science Monitor

India announces changes to its subsidies; will hand out cash to its poor Rama Lakshmi Washington Post  February 28, 2011 How India feeds 120 million kids a day Ben Arnoldy  Christian Science Monitor  February 9, 2011

Farmers plant onions in Jalgaon, India. The lack of basic farm equipment and infrastructure has held back production, even as the demand for food has risen greatly.  Photo: Kuni Takahashi/New York Times

Farmers plant onions in Jalgaon, India. The lack of basic farm equipment and infrastructure has held back production, even as the demand for food has risen greatly.  Photo: Kuni Takahashi/New York Times

Galloping growth, and hunger in India Vikas Bajaj New York Times February 11, 2011

North Korea sends SOS to world to feed its starving people Kim Sengupta The Independent February 11, 2011  

A destitute woman with her newborn baby.

A destitute woman with her newborn baby. Photo: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

India court orders Dehli government to provide shelters for destitute pregnant women so that they can receive care while giving birth Nilanjana Bhowmick guardian.co.uk February 3, 2011

Did 22-year-old Saima Bibi scream out as she was electrocuted at her parents’ home in their village near the southern Punjab city of Bahawalpur in Pakistan? Did she plead with her family for her life? Did she seek mercy? The answers to these questions will never be known. In one of the most harrowing “honour” killings reported in recent months in the country, Saima was, according to media reports, murdered by her relatives. They committed the crime following a ruling by a gathering of village elders that she be put to death by electrocution for eloping with a man she had chosen to marry. Police are investigating the murder and the prime minister has ordered the findings be submitted urgently. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Pakistan: Hundreds of women die for "honor" each year IRIN News January 27, 2011

Pakistanis chant slogans as they gather to show their support outside the Rawalpindi home of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, who is accused of killing Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer. Photo: Aamir Qureshi, AFP/Getty Images

Pakistanis chant slogans as they gather to show their support outside the Rawalpindi home of Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, who is accused of killing Punjab Gov. Salman Taseer. Photo: Aamir Qureshi, AFP/Getty Images

In Pakistan, Islamic fundamentalists expanding their grip on society Alex Rodriguez Los Angeles Times January 21, 2011 Setbacks plague US aid to Pakistan Tom Wright Wall Street Journal January 21, 2011 Mumtaz Qadri, bodyguard of Pakistan governor Taseer, murdered Taseer because he was angered by Taseer's support for modifications in Pakistan's new anti-blasphemy laws BBC News January 13, 2010

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, had recently campaigned for the release of a Christian woman facing the death penalty under the country's strict blasphemy laws.  Pakistan's blasphemy law makes it a crime to defame the prophet Muhammad or Islam, but is often used as a tool to repress minorities.

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, had recently campaigned for the release of a Christian woman facing the death penalty under the country's strict blasphemy laws.  Pakistan's blasphemy law makes it a crime to defame the prophet Muhammad or Islam, but is often used as a tool to repress minorities.

Pakistan Punjab province governor Salman Taseer, a moderate, shot dead by his own bodyguard BBC News January 7, 2010 Taseer: Pakistan we want is liberal and progressive (video) BBC News January 5, 2010

Ravindra Misal--leading the revolution in Umred, a small Indian town. The NYT reporter came to the  town  to write about a riot, and he discoverd Misal. A few months earlier, power blackouts that rural Indians always suffered silently triggered a violent reaction in Umred. Why? Umred was just another small town in the middle of nowhere, dusty and underwhelming. But Umred had begun to dream, townspeople told me, because of television, because of cousins with tales of call-center jobs and freedom in the city. Once Umred contracted ambition, blackouts became intolerable. A psychological revolution, a revolution in expectations, had taken place. Photo: Bharat Sikka/New York Times

Ravindra Misal--leading the revolution in Umred, a small Indian town. The NYT reporter came to the  town  to write about a riot, and he discoverd Misal. A few months earlier, power blackouts that rural Indians always suffered silently triggered a violent reaction in Umred. Why? Umred was just another small town in the middle of nowhere, dusty and underwhelming. But Umred had begun to dream, townspeople told me, because of television, because of cousins with tales of call-center jobs and freedom in the city. Once Umred contracted ambition, blackouts became intolerable.  Photo: Bharat Sikka/New York Times

Ravindra Misal: Trying to help some of India's poor and caste-restricted young (and himself) achieve upward mobility by beginning to learn the ways of those in higher strata of society Anand Giridharadas New York Times December 30, 2010

A supermarket provides transportation to female employees to protect them from harassment. Photo: Kuni Takahashi/ New York Times  

Necessity pushes Pakistani women into jobs and peril Adam B. Ellick New York Times December 26, 2010

In 2002, Rubina Sandhi's home burned down by Hindu mobs during anti-Muslim riots. Instead of turning to violence, she is one of India's many Muslims who are fighting back against extremism. Photo: Siddharaj/Washington Post

In India, a struggle for moderation as a young Moslem woman quietly battles extremism Emily Wax Washington Post December 28, 2010

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