The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges for policymaking in Asia and the Pacific, setting back development gains by years, if not decades, and revealing the lack of preparedness of many countries for dealing with such shocks. Nonetheless, Asian and Pacific countries initiated substantial policy responses to cope with the severe social and economic effects of the crisis, although the ability to sustain such needed support would be a challenge for several countries. The Secretary-General also launched several initiatives to save lives, protect societies and help them recover better, and mobilized the entire United Nations system, including ESCAP, to assist Member States.

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