Asia and the Pacific
DAI has worked in Asia since the early 1980s, with our first projects in Indonesia. Over time we expanded greatly in Indonesia and gained experience across the continent, from Timor-Leste and Mongolia to Bangladesh and Pakistan. Our work in Asia is as diverse as the countries themselves:
- In Vietnam, now one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, we have assisted the government since 2001 in streamlining economic regulations and making the economy easier to navigate for both local businesses and international trade partners. With our assistance, Vietnam acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2007.
- In Indonesia, we united climate change, forest preservation, and biodiversity agendas by engaging the private sector in these efforts—leading to more than half a million acres of industrial forests now managed using best environmental practices.
- In Bangladesh, where corruption has historically trumped public service, we have increased accountability by launching a center for investigative journalism, empowering local civic leaders, boosting watchdog organizations, and creating a unit within Parliament that scrutinizes the national budget.
- In Mongolia, we transformed the formerly state-owned agricultural bank from a nearly bankrupt institution into the privately owned, 500-branch Khan Bank now profitably and hence sustainably serving the country’s most remote regions.
These and other development successes spanning dozens of DAI projects and decades of experience inform a vibrant current portfolio of work there. A few examples:
- In Indonesia, the country where avian influenza has been most prevalent, we continue working with medical, veterinary, emergency, and government professionals, as well as farmers and businesses, to monitor and control outbreaks of the disease. Our environmental programs have helped increase access to life-saving clean water connections for 2 million Indonesians.
- In Cambodia, we designed a program that made it financially attractive for water-service providers to pipe clean water into poor areas—resulting in sustainable connections to more than 11,000 households and 67,000 people.
- In Southeast Asia, our Thailand-based project is helping communities in the Mekong River Basin develop sustainable, integrated adaptation plans, thus increasing their resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.
- In Sri Lanka, we are helping young people conditioned to war and confrontation integrate into civil society so they can work, attend school, and participate in local public service.