18 February 2009
In coping with the current crisis, most countries in Asia and the Pacific benefit from sound financial institutions and a record of sustained growth and macroeconomic stability. Poverty however remains widespread and systems of social protection are fragile and underdeveloped. Even a slight decline in the rates of economic growth can have dramatic social repercussions, particularly among vulnerable sectors and groups. Social distress intersects with political instabilities and tensions. A strong Asian response to the crisis is a critical component of the strategy to set the global economy on a sustainable path out of recession.