Daily Briefs

Photo :

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #30, 5 July 2023, Wednesday

Global Peace Index: Sri Lanka drops 18 places

28 million people in Afghanistan in need of emergency aid in Afghanistan: WFP

The NIAS Neighbourhood Reader Daily Brief #30, 5 July 2023, Wednesday
By Immaculine Joy Paul C, Ryan Marcus and Lakshmi Parimala H

Floods, caused by climate change, pose a threat to hydel projects
On June 17, flooding in Nepal's Sankhuwasabha district caused devastation, resulting in casualties and damage to infrastructure, especially the hydropower projects. The effects of climate change, such as erratic weather patterns and extreme rainfall, have become more frequent in Nepal, posing a threat to the country's hydropower potential. Scientists emphasize the importance of analyzing and incorporating climate change effects while planning. In addition, diversification of energy sources and improvements in storage and energy efficiency are recommended to mitigate the impact of climate change. (Arjun Poudel, “Climate change adds risk to investments in hydropower,” The Kathmandu Post, 5 July 2023)

US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Nepal
On 5 June, The Kathmandu Post reported that US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu, is set to visit Kathmandu as part of his South Asian tour. The purpose of his visit is to have political meetings with senior officials, including the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Lu previously visited Kathmandu twice, with his last visit in November 2021 focused on urging the ratification of the Millennium Challenge Corporation Nepal Compact. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive official communication regarding the visit. (Anil Giri, “US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu arriving next week for one-day visit,” The Kathmandu Post, 5 June 2023)

MPs discuss declining forex reserves
On 5 June, Kuensel reported on Bhutan’s forex reserves. Members of Bhutan's National Assembly (NA) and National Council (NC) expressed their concerns about the decreasing foreign reserves in the country. The budget report for the fiscal year 2023-24 shows a decline from USD 833 million to USD 689 million, covering only 14 months of essential imports. They called for collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority to prevent constitutional violations and economic risks. They further proposed re-evaluating inflation calculation methods and suggested measures like allowing dollar account withdrawals, attracting foreign currency through investments and exports and facilitating investment opportunities for Bhutanese living abroad. (Dechen Dolkar, “Declining foreign reserves cause of concern,” Kuensel, 5 June 2023)

The water level of the Teesta river crosses danger level
Teesta River in Lalmonirhat's Hatibandha upazila has exceeded its danger level of 52.15 meters by flowing 3cm above it since 6:00 am. To alleviate the water pressure, all 44 gates of the Teesta Barrage have been opened, leading to the river water entering low-lying areas and chars. Residents have reported that their homes are being flooded, and they may need to seek safer shelter if water levels rise further. While Brahmaputra, Dudhkumar, and Dharla rivers in Kurigram are below danger levels, Dharla shoal faces a flood threat in the next 48 hours. (S Dilip Roy, “Teesta water crosses danger level in Lalmonirhat,” The Daily Star, 5 July 2023)

Parliament to vote for PM on next Thursday
On 5 July, House Speaker Wan Muhamad Noor Matha said that the Parliament will vote for a new Prime Minister in a joint session to be convened next Thursday. He stated that in case of no definitive outcome reached in the session, another voting session will be scheduled. He emphasised that "The parliament must convene until the prime minister is installed. The country cannot lack a prime minister.” (“Parliamentary vote for new PM on July 13,” Bangkok Post, 5 July 2023)

Global Peace Index: Sri Lanka drops 18 places
On 5 July, The Island reported on the 2023 Global Peace Index report published on 28 June, which measures global peacefulness. The Index ranked Sri Lanka 107th out of the 163 countries it covers. This rank is a drop of 18 places from the previous position, as Sri Lanka held the 90th rank in 2022. (“Sri Lanka drops 18 places in 2023 Global Peace Index,” The Island, 5 July 2023)

Iran, Russia, India attend Iran Rah
On 4 July, Tehran Times reported that Iran, Russia and India, the founding members of the North-South-Transport Corridor (INSTC), attended Iran Rah. The Iranian Transport Minister underlined Iran's principles to promote INSTC through multilateralism, partnership and trade. Ports and Maritime Organisation (PMO) Ali Akbar mentioned the advantages for other countries with the transit through Iran. The objective of the event was to promote transit between India, Russia, Gulf and Caspian countries. ("Iran, Russia, India to promote freight transit through INSTC," Tehran Times, 4 July 2023)

Iran condemns MEK rally in France
On 3 July, Al Jazeera reported that Iran has condemned Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)'s Rally in France. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani stated that French officials are required to amend their mistakes in permitting criminal organisations. Kanani additionally referred to the unrest in France and warned Paris of political and legal ramifications if it proceeded to accommodate the group. ("Iran condemns MEK rally in France as support for ‘terrorism’," Al Jazeera, 3 July 2023)

World Food Programme on fund shortage in Afghanistan
On 5 July, ANI news reported that the World Food Programme (WFP) stated that more than 28 million people in Afghanistan are in need of emergency aid. The agency has decreased the number of families receiving aid to five million due to fund shortages. WFP estimated in 2023 that nearly 15.3 million people were food insecure. ("Afghanistan: World Food Programme announces fund shortage as 28mn people require emergency aid," ANI News, 5 July 2023)

Other Daily Briefs