An Indonesian proverb says that a firm tree does not fear the storm. After the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997/98, Asian economies recovered with strong economic growth (on average 4.2% annually), which over the past decade has contributed to a decline in “absolute poverty”–here defined as those with incomes of less than $2 per day. The share of people living in poverty fell from over half to a third of Asia’s population, with large reductions especially in China, Indonesia and Viet Nam. Greater prosperity has also contributed to lower fertility rates and higher life expectancy.

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Paternity leave is fast becoming a hot topic in Southeast Asia. Among other countries in the region, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia have each instituted paternity leave policies of varying durations, wage replacement rates, funding sources and eligibility requirements. International interest in paternity leave has also seen a number of corporations operating in Southeast Asia develop their own paternity leave policies. The benefits of paternity leave extend to parents, children and business.

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The Indian law offers benefits to female employees with its Maternity Benefit Act. According to the Act, female workers are entitled to a maximum of 26 weeks of maternity leave. Out of these 26 weeks, eight weeks leave is post-natal leave. A woman with already two or more children is entitled to 12 weeks’ maternity leave.

It may be noted that the Maternity Benefit Act came into being in 1961. However, it was amended in 2017. Prior to the amendment, female employees got 12 weeks of maternity leave which included six weeks of post-natal leaves.

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A new scheme to provide affordable housing to low income people in Cyprus will soon change the structure of the housing market, which is currently targeting middle and high income people, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides told the state radio on Monday. Petrides unveiled the scheme on Friday, saying it is based on the needs of young people at the start of the creation of a family and also of low income families.

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OPINION: Designing of effective and well-managed safety net programmes are dependent on various issues, which again vary from country to country.

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As such, the aim of this study is to assess the potential of using the SSA system to respond to floods in the immediate future (taking a two-year timeframe). The Terms of Reference provided by UNICEF for this study specified that the scope of the research would not examine the role of the SSA system in responding to shocks more broadly, nor its role over a longer timeframe.

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Despite criticism, the UK has only partially reversed a cash aid freeze in northeastern Syria and is still suspending monthly allowances to tens of thousands of displaced people that were halted last month to avoid the risk of diversion to members of so-called Islamic State.

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The delegations from various countries are in Azerbaijan to participate in the Regional Social Security Forum for Europe held by International Social Security Association (ISSA), Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population on May 17. The representatives of the delegations visited the Center for Sustainable and Operational Social Security (DOST), established under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, and the first center of DOST.

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Asian pension systems are facing major challenges. The region is experiencing seismic demographic changes, with rapidly aging populations and declining birthrates. But investment returns are relatively low due to geopolitical uncertainty and minimal interest rates.

With the region having relatively few robust retirement systems, many Asian countries will struggle to provide adequate pensions. Governments need to take positive action now to reduce financial pressures and avoid intergenerational conflicts between the young and old.

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In the last few years, many developing member countries (DMCs) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have expanded their social protection programs, helping to improve the well-being of the poor and vulnerable in Asia, and to lower the numbers of those living in extreme poverty and of the socially excluded. From 2009 to 2015, Asian countries increased their social protection expenditure from 3.4% to 4.2% of gross domestic product.

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