Which countries standout in the region as having a large population of the poor and vulnerable?
How much would be the fiscal costs of providing these sectors adequate support and social assistance during the lockdowns?
What are the implications on fiscal deficits and sovereign credit ratings?
In response to local COVID-19 outbreaks across Asia, lockdowns and stricter social distancing measures have been implemented. These measures are not just highly disruptive to economic activity, but also pose a serious threat to vulnerable sectors, such as poor households, daily wage workers and the informal sector. In emerging Asia, the size of these vulnerable sectors are unfortunately large, making the shock from COVID-19 a particularly difficult challenge for their governments, some of which also have either fiscal constraints or a lack of capacity to implement the needed support quickly.