The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a crisis that is unprecedented with ripple effects being felt by economies across the globe. Beginning with a health crisis, the pandemic has caused economic and humanitarian crises of monumental proportions. Countries in South Asia are grappling with the costs of the pandemic in terms of loss of human lives and livelihoods, with profound effects on their economies and on attaining the sustainable development goals. The shockwaves triggered by the pandemic has manifested through various transmission channels in South Asian subregion with much wider and deeper impacts on the socio-economic aspects of their societies. Millions of workers have been rendered jobless, inequalities have been accentuated and the crisis is likely to reverse years, if not decades, of gains in poverty reduction, undermining the progress made by the subregion towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The South and South-West Asia office of ESCAP, New Delhi has prepared a report on “COVID-19 and South Asia: National Strategies and Subregional Cooperation for Accelerating Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Recovery”. The report identifies the socio-economic impacts including a possibly of pushing upto 132 million people into extreme poverty, reversing the development gains of a whole decade.
The virtual High-Level Policy Dialogue will provide a forum for discussion of the key messages of the report. This Dialogue will take the form of an interactive discussion following an introductory presentation followed by remarks by a High-Level Panel and open discussions with participants.