COVID-19 and South Asia: National Strategies and Subregional Cooperation for Accelerating Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Recovery

South Asia entered the COVID-19 crisis with a low level of preparedness: The COVID-19 outbreak hit South Asia at a time when the SDGs were gaining traction and countries had begun to make some progress. Gaps in public health infrastructure, basic sanitation facilities and access to broadband connectivity have been exposed in addressing the pandemic. With already elevated levels of fiscal deficits and public debt, governments of the South Asian countries found themselves having limited fiscal space to mount major relief and stimulus packages needed to mitigate socioeconomic impacts.