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Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2019

image of Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2019

This is the fourth edition of Society at a Glance Asia/Pacific, the OECD’s overview of social indicators for the region. The report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends across countries in Asia and the Pacific.  Chapter 1 introduces this volume and provides readers with a guide to help them interpret OECD social indicators. Chapter 2 focuses on issues around extending coverage and the future of social protection in Asia and the Pacific. Already, there are many workers in Asia and the Pacific whose job does not entitle them to social and health supports. Digitalisation and changes in the nature of work may lead to further job-loss, but also increase economic labour market and economic inequalities between high- and low-skilled workers; workers with and without access to social benefits. These rising inequalities will further challenge social policy development in its quest to get support to those who need it most. The chapter includes some country programme examples to illustrate possible policy responses. Chapter 3 to 7 each present five indicators on general context, self-sufficiency, equity, health and social cohesion.

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Child malnutrition (including under nutrition and overweight)

National development is largely dependent on healthy and well-nourished people. However, there are many children who are not always able to access sufficient, safe, nutritious food and a balanced diet that meets their needs for optimal growth and development. Poor nutrition in utero and early childhood often results in stunting which refers to a child who is too short for his or her age. Similarly wasting, a child who is too thin for his or her height, is usually the result form a poor diet and/or disease. Stunting and wasting often lead to noticeable educational and economic disadvantages that could last a lifetime and affect the next generation (UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Group 2018). On the other end, overweight or obese children, too heavy for his or her height, are at greater risk of poor health and reduced quality of life in adolescence and in adulthood. The UN SDG target 2.2 involves “ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age”.

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