The first and among the hardest-hit regions by COVID-19 (coronavirus), the East Asia and Pacific region could see at least 11 million more people falling into poverty this year. People are missing meals, school, and hospital visits – all this will unfortunately affect future generations. Depressed international demand and domestic lockdowns are leading to large numbers of job losses and bankruptcies. Small and medium enterprises and the informal sector are particularly hard hit.
The World Bank is committed to support countries as they respond to the pandemic, delivering operations totaling over $1 billion by the end of June 2020 to address economic and social impacts in the East Asia and Pacific region. The Bank is also advising countries to scale up social protection programs, leverage technology to ensure money gets directly to citizens, and on how best to support firms and businesses.
Making the right policy choices now will determine the strength and resilience of recovery. Looking forward, the World Bank will be working with policymakers to support a COVID-19 recovery that emphasizes green growth, digital skills, and a shift towards higher productivity activities.
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