COVID-19 has created the worst crisis in Asia-Pacific since World War II, exposing structural weaknesses and revealing gaps in health services, social protection, and digital connectivity in the region, a new study revealed.
The study, Beyond The Pandemic – Building back better from crises in Asia, from the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
It said the region suffered economic contractions along with interruptions in trade, disrupted supply chains, and the collapse of international tourism, leading to job losses and increases in poverty.
It proposed four critical interconnected areas: broadening social protection, investing in a sustained recovery, keeping goods and information flowing, and mending the relationship with nature.
The surging pandemic has also aggravated many “underlying ills and highlighted gaps” in social protection, with over half of the region’s population completely unprotected.