Achieving the SDGs in South Asia: an integrated approach to accelerate SDG progress and COVID-19 recovery

South Asia’s pace of progress towards the SDGs to date has been less than adequate. The COVID-19 outbreak, which has escalated into a global humanitarian crisis responsible for erasing developmental achievements attained over many years, places more hurdles along the subregion’s sustainable development pathways. The pandemic has exposed critical development gaps and vulnerabilities particular to South Asia, exerting pervasive adverse impacts manifested across almost all the SDG indicators. Achieving the SDGs in South Asia calls for adopting an integrated approach to SDG implementation and post-pandemic recovery, given the commonalities between development policy priorities and considering the need to maximize the utility of limited resources to address the twin challenges.