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COVID-19 is an unprecedented socio-economic crisis and calls for unprecedented policy responses. Asia-Pacific region is no exception.

In this context, an Excel-based model is developed to help countries ensure effective policy design and to align policy responses with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The model produces a snapshot of the socio-economic situation facing the country/territory, and allows simple policy scenarios to be studied.

In detail, the model provides a “country overview”, illustrating key factors that are expected to affect the impact of the crisis on the economy, putting this into a regional and global context. These include measures of the spread of the pandemic, the country’s exposure to external shocks, the stringency of measures that have been required to contain the pandemic, the industrial structure of production and trade, social conditions, and the policy backdrop.

These factors are then integrated into an economic model to assess their likely impact on key variables (namely, GDP growth, inflation, employment, fiscal balance as a share of GDP, public debt as a share of GDP, poverty headcount ratio at $1.9 per day and $5.5 per day thresholds, Gini coefficient, CO2 emissions and PM2.5 concentration). Scenarios can be developed by modifying policy options, the stringency of lockdown measures at home and abroad, and the oil price.

Caveat: The model is not designed to deliver a complete forecast for any country or territory. All forecasts are assessed relative to a set of pre-COVID baseline projections, and only the COVID shock is explicitly modelled. In addition, the model is parameterized to capture average expected behaviour across the region, rather than tailored to individual countries or territories. The modelled results are those of the users and do not reflect the views of ESCAP.