COVID-19 has had disastrous health and economic outcomes on developing and developed countries alike, yet some countries have fared better than others. In terms of both controlling the spread of COVID-19 and managing the pandemic’s economic consequences, Pakistan has reported better outcomes than many other emerging market countries

The Consortium for Development Policy Research and the Center for Global Development hosted a conversation with the key policymakers on Pakistan’s COVID response.  These policymakers were joined by CGD experts Kalipso Chalkidou and Alan Gelb to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on Pakistan’s health sector and economy, and the lessons learned from the evolving national response. The conversation also explored the impact of social safety nets and digital ID systems on the response and recovery.

The panelists included:

  • Reza Baqir, Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Former Head of IMF Egypt Office and Senior Resident Representative, Former IMF Mission Chief for Romania and Bulgaria;
  • Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Nets for the Prime Minister, Federal Minister, Benzair Income Support Programme Chairperson, Founder Heartlife Health Financing, Founder Pakistan’s Health Policy Forum;
  • Asad Umar, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives, Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Former Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs.

Discussants included:

  • Kalipso Chalkidou, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development;
  • Alan Gelb, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development.

The discussion was moderator by Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development.