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Policy Brief: Have countries in the Asia-Pacific Region initiated a "green recovery"? What more can be done?

On 31st December 2019, the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) was informed by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission of cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.iThis virus known as COVID-19, by July 2021 had spread to almost all countries in the world - bar 9 countries - while it has directly affected over 110 million people and has led to the death of over 2.4 million people.

As cases have been detected, the majority of governments across the Asia and Pacific region have responded – in particular shutting down parts of the economy in order to slow the spread of the virus, increasing health expenditure, including on vaccines during 2021, and providing socio-economic measures to support businesses and citizens.

But how green have all these measures been – and can governments do more?

This policy brief, intended for the Asia-Pacific policymakers as well as development practitioners provides an overview of these effects and responses, analyses whether and how these measures overlap with climate change mitigation and adaptation plans of Asia-Pacific countries and provides suggestions on how to stimulate further poverty reduction and achieve a green recovery from COVID-19.