JAKARTA (Reuters) – Southeast Asia is on the verge of a “socio-economic crisis” triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic that could reverse years of hardship decrease, the United Nations has warned.
” The crisis threatens to destroy the incomes of Southeast Asia’s 218 million casual employees,” a U.N. policy quick launched on Thursday said.
” Without alternative earnings, official social security systems or cost savings to buffer these shocks, workers and their families will be pushed into hardship, reversing decades of poverty reduction.”
The region-wide economy was expected to agreement by 0.4 percent in 2020, it stated, while remittances from Southeast Asians working abroad were likely to fall by 13 percent or $10 billion.
The paper advised countries to fix “financial termites”: budget-sapping problems like tax evasion, transfer rates and nonrenewable fuel source aids so they can deliver big stimulus packages to help vulnerable populations and enhance their economies.
Current low oil rates supplied an ideal opportunity to reverse nonrenewable fuel source subsidies, it added.
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In Indonesia, the region’s most populated country, fossil fuel aids in 2020 will exceed its whole COVID-19 social assistance and stimulus steps, the U.N. report said.
In addition to improving social well-being payments, Southeast Asian countries must prioritise higher health costs, stated Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, head of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
6 of the 11 countries in the area – including its 2 greatest nations, Indonesia and the Philippines – got the most affordable score for health costs on the U.N.’s five-tier human advancement index. Three others were on the second-lowest tier and the staying two were on the middle tier.
The report covered the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Timore-Leste.
Reporting by Tom Allard; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan
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