Experts call for sharing of expertise, resources at regional level to combat COVID-19 pandemic
PESHAWAR: COVID-19 has posed similar socio-economic challenges to all the neighboring countries of Pakistan, therefore, an enhanced regional cooperation from sharing of expertise to resources is the need of hour to save people of the entire region from the pandemic, said economists.
This was discussed in an online dialogue titled: ‘Rise of Coronavirus in Pakistan’s neighboring Countries–the challenges and Policy Responses’ organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) where social and political analysts and experts from across the region participated in the dialogue.
Highlighting the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19, former Member of Planning Commission of Pakistan Dr Zubair Iqbal said that the pandemic has hit Afghanistan in worst form since lack of peace and stability in the country left very little room for any meaningful relief to the people.
He said India has also been facing the dilemma of ‘lockdown or no lockdown’ because provision of relief to a large segment of population for a longer period is hardly possible.
Adnan Tabatabai, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Applied Research in Partnership with the Orient (CARPO), briefed the participants on the pandemic impact in Iran and said that all the regional countries provided valuable support to Iran to come out of the grave crisis.
He suggested that diplomatic channels should be used especially for the return of people who are stranded abroad. Data among organisations needs to be integrated and mobile hospitals need to be set up at border areas, he said.
Khalid Alyassin, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Kuwait Embassy in Pakistan, said that Kuwait is a country with a large chunk of migrant population, so the government has announced a number of measures to enable them to face the challenge.
He said Kuwait is a staunch supporter of regional cooperation, especially to fight the challenge posed by the global pandemic.
Tara Sepehri Far, a representative of Human Rights Watch was of view that public trust is a key to governments to deal with the crisis effectively. – APP