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Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.

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Tsunami versus HIV/AIDS: Perception dictates response

On 26 December 2004, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia, generating a widespread tsunami. The resulting waves, some up to 15 meters high, reached the heavily populated shores of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and the east coast of Africa, leaving a path of death and destruction in their wake. The final death toll may never be known, but it is likely that at least 200,000 people lost their lives on that fateful day, with some estimates running as high as 280,000. Along with lives lost, the tsunami destroyed countless livelihoods and made millions of people homeless. Soon after the event, in an interview with CNN, United Nations Emergency Relief coordinator Jan Egeland summarized the situation: “This may be the worst natural disaster in recent history because it is affecting so many heavily populated coastal areas... so many vulnerable communities”.

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