The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis are posing huge challenges, raising many unknowns and imposing wrenching trade-offs. Both crises are global, but their impacts are deeply local. The policy response to both crises needs to be rapid, even if it is rough around the edges. But countries cannot pull this off on their own—the global crises require global solidarity and coordination.
Governments must dramatically overhaul policies and invest in public health, economic stimulus, and social safety nets, to help countries recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic report warns that a patchwork of preexisting solutions won’t work and points out that governments must coordinate with each other to hasten the recovery. This is a global crisis and working in silos is not an option, it says. This report calls on countries in the region to avoid returning to the pre-pandemic environmentally unsustainable development path, and to capitalize on the opportunity to build a better future.