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UNDP Global

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Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Leaving No Country Behind

Mar 23, 2021

This report is published at a time when Asia and the Pacific continue to be strongly affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While the region was already off-track to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the severe economic and social consequences of the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to contain the virus are a massive setback for achieving the SDGs, especially in the areas of poverty, decent work, education and health. It has hit hard the poor and vulnerable, including women, daily wage labourers, informal sector workers and migrant workers.

The report highlights that in addition to the risk of leaving behind vulnerable groups within countries, vulnerable countries, too, face the risk of being left behind. This is especially the case for countries with insufficient resources and capacity to tackle the impact of the pandemic on their own. It also highlights how digitalization and regional cooperation can be used to manage and mitigate growing divergences between countries and create the foundation for inclusive and sustainable growth that better closed the development gaps between countries.