The COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm of crises across Asia, resulting in widespread job losses or cuts in wages in both the formal and informal economies. All Asian economies have been hit hard by the crisis, with economic growth falling significantly, while some countries are predicted to fall into recession.
The COVID-19 crisis and its widespread impacts demonstrate the need to reform current social security systems in Asia. It is essential that countries build modern, comprehensive and universal systems that can effectively reduce poverty and inequality, and are more effective in tackling large-scale shocks.
This paper, prepared with UNDP’s Asia-Pacific Economist Network, examines potential social security responses that countries can put in place. It provides a brief overview of social security systems in Asia, examines responses that Asian countries have already implemented and proposes a range of more effective complementary or alternative approaches.
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