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COVID-19 has exacerbated Asia’s crisis of extreme inequality. This is undermining growth and preventing poverty eradication. Asian governments have done almost nothing to combat this rise in inequality and are constrained in their policy choices as debt burdens grow and post-COVID austerity begins. A few Asian governments have done a lot to fight inequality during COVID-19 through equitable public services, progressive taxation and enhanced labour rights, especially for women, but most have not.

This paper lays out a comprehensive set of measures that Asian governments, the Asian Development Bank and the international community could use to significantly reduce inequality, eradicate poverty and accelerate growth in Asia.

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