More About Our Work in the Asia-Pacific Region
The Asia-Pacific region is vast, covering more than 6 billion acres of land area, or approximately 22 percent of all land on the globe. It stretches from the borders of China-Mongolia in the north, to the southern tip of Australia and New Zealand in the south. Climate-wise, conditions range from tropical to arid and semiarid desert. Asia is also the world’s most populous continent, home to more than 4 billion people, most of whom live in cities, and Asia claims nearly half the world’s urban population.
Many of these factors, such as population, climate, and urbanization, have challenged the region as it enters an era of explosive growth and progress. Its developing economies contributed 40 percent of global growth in 2012, and the region is on course to meet its first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty by 2015. Life expectancy at birth also improved across 22 Asian countries, reaching 72.2 years on average in 2010—a more than 15-year increase from 1970. However, disease remains a challenge for the region. Asia is second only to sub-Saharan Africa as the region with the greatest number of people with HIV; and, malaria is endemic, with children comprising of 85 percent of the deaths from malaria. Additionally, malnourishment is high among children under five, particularly in South Asia, where 39 percent of children have stunted growth as a result. Meanwhile, overpopulation and rapid migration to cities has exacerbated environmental problems like pollution, congestion, greenhouse gas emissions, inadequate access to water and sanitation, and growing vulnerability to natural disasters.
The Clinton Foundation’s goal is to promote growth in the region while also combating the adverse impacts to health access and to the environment. Through the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), the Foundation has helped provide close to universal access to HIV/AIDS testing and treatment in countries such as Cambodia; this move has drastically reduced, and in some cases eliminated, the incidence of disease in children. Through the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Foundation is implementing carbon-capture, reforestation, solar energy, and climate education programs to help protect our environment.