The current policy brief, prepared by ESCAP Transport Division, reviews countries’ initial responses to the outbreak and suggests some key takeaways that can inform current and future policy responses. The lessons from the COVID-19 experience, highlighted in this brief, suggest that:
- Regional transport connectivity provides the most effective means of response in the course of a pandemic and in its aftermath and needs to be preserved; protectionist solutions reduce efficiencies and are vulnerable to future shocks.
- More effective use of existing regional transport cooperation would make the response to such pandemics and emergency or disaster more effective.
Countries can seize upon the opportunity that the current pandemic provides for a decisive shift towards digitizing the processes involved in exchange of information to complete operational and regulatory transport controls.
- In the aftermath of the crisis, the initiatives which contributed to making freight operations more sustainable, especially in environmental and social terms, should be retained, helping countries to build back better and make a quality leap in their sustainable transport connectivity.