Impacts and implications of the COVID-19 crisis and its recovery for achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Asia: A review from an SDG interlinkage perspective

In Scenarios of Environmental Resilience and Transformation in Times of Climate Change: Effects and Lessons from the COVID-19
Chapter: Chapter 24
Book Chapter

Five years after the SDGs were adopted and just when the United Nations called for realising the Decade of Action, the COVID-19 pandemic halted the progress of the SDGs and even reversed some of the achievements that the world made over years. With most countries struggling to overcome the pandemic and revive the economy, losing the focus on the SDGs is not an unlikely thing. This chapter attempts to provide a methodology to understand how the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the measures addressing the crisis, will affect the progress of the SDGs in selected Asian countries and to know what can be done to ensure that COVID-19 measures support accelerating the implementation and achievement of the SDGs and building resilience and sustainability in the long run.

Through literature review and using the SDG Interlinkages Tool, a methodology on analyzing the impacts from COVID-19 and its recovery on SDG was proposed from an interlinkage perspective. The proposed methodology was then used for an empirical analysis for two selected Asian countries, Bangladesh and the Republic of Korea. The two countries are different in their pre-existing levels of economic development, fiscal capacity and other social and economic conditions which in turn determine their varied impacts from COVID-19 and associated countermeasures.

The SDG interlinkage analysis provides a wider picture about the impacts of COVID-19 including the derived impacts from COVID-19-hit targets and the implications of COVID-19 measures for SDGs through the complex web of interactions among the SDGs. By identifying and analyzing the synergies and trade-offs of the COVID-19 measures, this study provided relevant knowledge and methodology to support an integrated planning for COVID-19 measures which can be used not only in the two selected countries but also in other countries.

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