Dr. Nisha Arunatilake Highlights Priorities for Economic Recovery From COVID-19

19 May 2021

IPS’ Research Director Dr Nisha Arunatilake presented on ‘Identifying Regional Priorities for a Fair Recovery From COVID-19 in South Asia – Sri Lankan Perspective’ at an online forum on ‘Identifying Regional Priorities for a Fair Recovery From COVID-19 in South Asia’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and Southern Voice. Dr Arunatilake noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a severe recession which has deteriorated labour market conditions and increased poverty. To ensure a fair and inclusive recovery from this crisis, the country needs to first pay attention to increasing the health sector’s capacity to respond to the pandemic and speed up the inoculation programme to pave the way for economic recovery, she said. Dr Arunatilake further stated that along with this, the government should, in the short term: a) provide relief for the worst affected and fill gaps in essential human development programmes such as nutrition programmes; b) speed up inclusive economic recovery through public investment programmes aimed at generating jobs for the worse affected. In the long term, attention should be focused on tightening social protection and increasing digital access to improve the economy’s resilience, she added.