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ASIA-PACIFIC INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY (APIS)

Despite the great progress in deepening regional connectivity through information and communication technologies, Asia and the Pacific is still the most digitally divided region in the world, with less than eight per cent of the population connected to affordable and reliable high-speed Internet. As a result, millions of people are shut out from transformative digital opportunities in education, health and financial services. Women and girls, in particular, have lower levels of access to broadband Internet and other knowledge-enhancing technologies. The Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) is a region-wide intergovernmental platform. APIS aims to bridge the digital divide and accelerate digital transformation by promoting digital connectivity, digital technology and data use in the Asia Pacific region.

ESCAP member States recognised APIS as one of the useful regional platforms for promoting digital cooperation (ESCAP Resolution 78/1, May 2022, 79/10, May 2023). An APIS Action plan consists of three pillars with scoped 25 actions. Three APIS Working Groups are focused on Connectivity for All, Digital Technologies and Applications and Digital Data. This APIS action plan 2022-2026 is supporting multi-stakeholder events at a high level, like Ministerial Conferences (ref Seoul, 10 November 2022), ESCAP Committee for ICT, Science Technology and Innovation (2020, 2022), United Nations Special Programme for Central Asia (2020-2023) and its Working Group on Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Development.  The APIS technical cooperation projects created online connectivity tools, an e-resilience monitoring dashboard, focused on rural-urban connectivity, clean air for sustainable ASEAN  and digital payment projects.  ESCAP website publishes analytical reports and working paper series on Asia and the Pacific digital transformation. Please refer to the brochure on APIS here

To access additional interactive content regarding the APIS implementation plan 2022 to 2026, please register at APIS thematic area at the Mighty Network (User Guide) by following the link [https://bit.ly/2ATqwVe]. This  networking space facilitates online engagement with the APIS bureau members, and academia network, enabling you to participate in discussions, build community, share information, and promote and support relevant activities of APIS action plan 2022-2026 (your website and publication URL).

 

Universal Service Fund Modernization in a Post-COVID19 World (Capacity Building Workshop)

Digital connectivity is an essential resource for economic, social, and cultural development, but many communities in Central, South, and East Asia continue to contend with limited or unaffordable broadband internet access, particularly in rural and isolated locations.  Many nations in these regions have adopted universal service funds (USF) to enhance digital connectivity for disadvantaged communities. 

Enhancing Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity in Thailand

USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance, through a $650,000 grant to the International Federation of the Red Cross, plans to  enhance the capacity of Thai Red Cross Society (TRCS) to reduce disaster risk and build community resilience in Thailand by strengthening geographical information systems, disaster risk reduction planning, and preparedness for effective response. The award will focus on: 1.

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