The World Bank recently predicted that economic growth in East Asia and the Pacific will be slower as multiple countries in these regions are fighting with a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases. Apart from having concerns over the rising numbers, the new variant of the virus and limited vaccine supply is also adding to its concern.
The East Asia Pacific region is expected to grow by four percent this year, which decreased by the 4.4 percent prediction made by World Bank President David Malpass in March. Moreover, countries facing external conflicts apart from Covid-19 like Mayanmar are expected to experience a deeper-than-expected slump.
According to experts, China is expected to grow by 8.5 percent in 2021 is expected to expand by 7.7 percent this year, compared to the 7.4 percent prediction made in March. Depending on how fast nations can roll out vaccines is also detrimental as many countries of the region are unlikely to be able to fully vaccinate their population until 2024.
The World Bank chief David Malpass said that he is concerned about the developing nations falling behind in what has become a two-speed recovery with advanced economies emerging stronger as more people in those nations are being fully vaccinated.
He told the media, “This is the reason why we have a major focus on expanding the reach of vaccines.” Earlier this month, he announced that the World Bank was raising financing for Covid-19 vaccine purchases and deployment to $20 billion from its previous target of $12 billion. He also urged advanced economies to send their surplus vaccines to developing countries that are facing greater needs.
While countries like Britain and Germany are already planning to remove their remaining Covid-19 restrictions, many in the Asia and Pacific region are reimposing targeted lockdown measures to control the rising cases.