The Covid-19 crisis paints an ominous picture for South Asia. The World Bank states that the region will experience the worst economic performance in 40 years with half of the states falling in deep recession. Prevalent inequality in the region further makes the poor more vulnerable to job loss, infection, price hikes and limited healthcare.
Having a high population density adds to the difficulties involved in preventing domestic transmission within several parts of the region. The looming threat of economic crisis is unfolding uniquely in unprecedented ways. Governments do not just have to devise a crisis response but also have to deal with issues of food security, fiscal stress, and pre-existing vulnerabilities including weak health systems.
The brief explores in detail how four major economies – Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – adopt policies to mitigate the Covid-19 crisis and the risks to their economies. Additionally we explore what industries take the worst hit of the crisis; which ones remain unaffected or even become beneficiaries of the situation.