Uneven recovery

Iosefa Maiava, head of the UNESCAP Pacific Office. Picture: SUPPLIED

The analysis in the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2021 survey shows that progress towards recovery from the pandemic has been highly uneven, says Iosefa Maiava, head of the UNESCAP Pacific Office.

Speaking during the Pacific Policy dialogue on the survey with the theme of “Towards Post COVID-19 Resilient Economies”, Mr Maiava said: “Our collective experience with crises, also point to the important role of policies, in mitigating those shocks and facilitating a more inclusive recovery path.”

Mr Maiava said the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented social-economic disruptions to all, reversing hard-earned development gains by years, if not decades.

“We know that member states in the Pacific have taken bold solutions-oriented policy measures, to minimise the pandemic’s social and economic damage, including unprecedented fiscal and monetary support.

“However, the scale of such policy measures remains limited when compared to the challenge in front of us.”

He said the survey proposed a targeted policy package that included better access to social services by all, narrow if not close the digital divide, and strengthen green development and climate actions.

“Adopting and implementing such measures before the next shocks strike would result in everyone having access to healthcare services, the poor and vulnerable groups promptly receiving financial aid, and all workers and students including in remote areas having stable access to work and learning through the Internet.

“From the planetary perspective, this policy package entails investing much more in sustainable energy access and efficiency, climate-resilient infrastructure and biodiversity.”

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