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Supporting policy with scientific evidence

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Publication | 2022

Covid-19 Pandemic Impacts on Asia and the Pacific: A regional review of socioeconomic, agrifood and nutrition impacts and policy responses

Like much of the world, Asia and the Pacific is in the midst of the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, dominated by Omicron variant – few months following the Delta variant driven forth wave. As of 9 January 2022, about 65 951 296 people in the region had been infected (Figure 1) and more than 1 052 059 deaths had been recorded. The percentage of infections resulting in deaths was lower in the region (1.6 percent) compared to the global average of 2.2 percent. As of early January 2022, the level of vaccination rates have expanded significant for most countries, with ranges from 20 percent to over 80 percent (Figure 2). However, these rates will continue to move upward in all countries in the coming months. The COVID-19 health crisis has turned into a global economic crisis, putting at risk the health, jobs and incomes of millions of people across the world. The pandemic is becoming persistent and seemingly slow to eradicate, with medium and long-term consequences affecting the trajectories of the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) targets across the countries. Better understanding of the implications of COVID-19 containment these measures for food systems, food insecurity and malnutrition is vital to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a food crisis and to rebuilt resilient food systems.