Policy Brief: The Impact of COVID-19 on South-East Asia
The new UN report examines how COVID-19 has affected eleven countries in South-East Asia and proposes action-oriented recommendations on mitigating immediate impacts and planning pathways out of the crisis.The uneven landscape of social protection systems has placed tackling inequality at the centre of both short and long-term recovery efforts, according to the report. Increased investments to strengthen health systems and accelerate progress towards universal health care will be critical to support those excluded from formal policy and social protection measures. Digital technology has also proved to be a critical tool in response to the pandemic. However, the benefits it offers are beyond the reach of the 55 per cent of South-East Asia’s population who remain offline. A regionally coordinated and scaled up effort is needed to put in place next-generation infrastructure networks and ensure universal digital connectivity, highlights the Brief.