ADBI-CSIS Webinar: Protecting Aging Societies in Asia from the COVID-19 Pandemic (53rd ADB Annual Meeting Seminar Series)

Event | 16 September 2020
Online

Time of event

14:00–15:45 Tokyo time

Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated many social and economic challenges which have particularly threatening impacts on Asia’s growing number of elderly people. In the region’s developing economies, the elderly face significant risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus and are often financially vulnerable given their lack of savings, pension funds, and safety nets to fall back on after retirement.

The pandemic also highlights an opportunity for fundamental changes within developing Asia’s care economy, which could improve health and social protection for the elderly. Enhancing health services knowledge and education, technology, sanitation, and humanitarian support is imperative and could be done by investing in universal and inclusive healthcare coverage and expanding social safety nets.

Against this backdrop, ADBI and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) co-hosted a webinar examining the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on aging societies in Asia and the Pacific, in conjunction with the 53rd Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting. Experts drew upon country experiences and international best practices to promote policies, technology, and education for strengthening the region’s care economy.

Objectives
  • Explore the growing challenges Asia’s aging societies face in the context of COVID-19
  • Share international best practices for promoting services and resources to support aging populations in the region’s developing countries
  • Formulate effective strategies for ensuring social protection for aging populations in the post-COVID-19 era
Participants
  • Senior and mid-level government officials from ADB member economies at different stages of demographic transition
  • Experts from ADBI, ADB, CSIS, and other international organizations and think tanks with experience addressing demographic transition
Output
  • Better knowledge and understanding for addressing the challenges of aging societies in Asia
  • Enhanced dialogue among government officials and experts on closing economic and social gaps within aging populations, amid the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Possible publication of a policy brief highlighting key recommendations for strengthening safety nets and developing the care economy for the elderly in relation to COVID-19 and future pandemics
Partner

Center for Strategic and International Studies

Conference Presentations

Panel 1.1: COVID-19 and Its Impacts on Digital Transformation in Asia
Daniel F. Runde, Senior Vice President & Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, CSIS

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Panel 1.2: COVID-19 and Social Safety Nets in the Face of Rapid Demographic Change
Meredith Wyse, Senior Social Development Specialist, ADB

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Panel 2.1: Building Inclusive Care Economy Through Technology and Education focus on Universal Health Coverage and Digital Health
Eduardo P. Banzon, Principal Health Specialist, ADB

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Panel 2.2: The Elderly and the COVID-19 Outbreak in Singapore: Some Implications on Inclusive Care in Technology and Education
Kevin S.Y. Tan, Visiting Research Fellow ISEAS, YUSOF ISHAK Institute

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Panel 2.3: Building Inclusive Care Economy Through Technology and Education
Sakarn Bunnag, Director, Institute of Geriatrics, Department of Medical Services, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand

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