South Asia’s Covid-19 time bomb is ticking

South Asia is one of the world’s most populous and most densely populated geographical regions. It is home to over one fifth of the world’s population. It is at the same time deeply mired in poverty, with more than 41 percent of the total number of world’s multidimensional poor living here, despite the marginal progress made by it over the decades due to a considerably long period of robust economic growth, averaging over 6.5% per annum for most part of the last decade.
There have been multiple reasons for this economic growth not translating into improvement of socioeconomic indicators. Firstly, there has been a deep variation in economic performance of the countries in the region and then there are serious governance and security issues across the region. The regional countries have, therefore, been mostly in Medium Human Development or Low Human Development categories on the human development index.
In the present context, wherein Covid-19 pandemic is raging across the world, countries in South Asia have been woefully underprepared to cope with the disease. The health infrastructure, despite the sharp variation in quality of healthcare across the eight countries in the region, is inadequate everywhere. It is severely undersupplied and underdeveloped, and the gaps are expected to become more pronounced as it deals with the deadly viral infection. Read More…

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The Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI) is a nonpartisan, independent policy research institute based in Islamabad. Our goal is to undertake in-depth analysis of challenges and choices confronting Pakistan. We aim to help policymakers and public better understand the world, region and Pakistan-specific challenges and opportunities. We make efforts to engage government, civil society, private sector, media, academia in open debates and dialogue on the most significant developments in national and international affairs. We envision contributing to policy-making through periodic policy-papers putting forward policy-recommendations developed in collaboration with experts and stakeholders in each area. IPI takes no institutional position on policy issues.


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