Asia Pacific

Three years after exodus, Rohingya refugees ‘more vulnerable than ever’

Three years into the Rohingya refugee crisis, women, men and children – driven from their homes in Myanmar into camps across the border in Bangladesh – are more vulnerable than ever, UN agencies have reported. 

First Person: Tourism in Hawaii grounded during pandemic

Tourism is Hawaii’s biggest industry, with some 10 million visitors to the lslands ever year. But that has all changed since the COVID-19 pandemic, and many businesses on the archipelago have been forced to shut down for good, according to a helicopter pilot who flies pleasure trips for tourists.

First Person: Fighting anti-vaccination rumours in Pakistan

Polio, a deadly, debilitating, yet easily curable disease, is eradicated in most countries, but is still endemic in Pakistan, partly due to a reluctance to vaccinate amongst some parts of the population. Dennis Chimenya, a health worker with the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, is part of a team trying to counter misconceptions, and save lives.

Rohingya crisis needs lasting solutions, renewed commitment amid COVID-19 pandemic, UN refugee agency

Three years after violence in Myanmar forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas to seek refuge in Bangladesh, the international community must adapt its assistance to the critical needs of those displaced and the host communities supporting them, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. 

UN rights office ‘appalled’ at violence against human rights defenders in the Philippines

The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has called for effective measures to protect rights defenders in the Philippines, amid a spate of deadly attacks against them.

Bridging Asia-Pacific ‘digital divide’ vital to realize tech benefits

Countries across Asia and the Pacific are using new technologies to contain the global pandemic and mitigate its impact, the UN’s regional socio-economic development arm has said, as governments and experts work together to identify ways to innovate further, and build back better, after COVID-19.

Real Life Heroes: Building a safe space for Rohingya women refugees

Bangladeshi architect Rizvi Hassan is the driving force behind the construction of a safe space for Rohingya women and girls, in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, site of the world’s largest camp for displaced people, and home to around a million Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar. The community centre caters to a marginalized, vulnerable group, at risk of gender-based violence. 

Virtual Concert unites Pacific with the world in battling COVID-19

The first-of-its-kind televised and digitally streamed Pacific Unite: Saving Lives Together concert called on regional leaders and citizens to unite in the global fight against COVID-19, the United Nations said on Saturday.

Afghanistan: More action needed to stop killings of human rights defenders 

The death of nine human rights defenders since the beginning of this year marks “the emergence of a truly alarming trend", an independent UN rights expert said on Friday, calling on Afghanistan to prevent any further killings.

Real Life Heroes: heading into disaster, in the service of others

Growing up in Indonesia in the shadow of an active volcano, Agus Haryono has witnessed the deadly risks of living in a disaster-prone region. This prompted him to join the country’s Search and Rescue Agency, in the hope of saving lives, when disaster strikes.