ASEAN Integration Plan Affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on ASEAN integration plans. For this reason, in preparing the work plan for the integration initiative (2021-2025), the ASEAN Secretariat also focuses on the effects of the pandemic.

UMMATIMES - "The pandemic has had a significant detrimental effect on the region, so the work plans prepared must respond to these effects," said Intani Kusuma, Senior Officer of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and Reducing Development Gaps at the ASEAN Secretariat.

Intani conveyed this when filling a virtual guest lecture held by Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy (PGSD), Paramadina University, Jakarta, last weekend. The event was titled "ASEAN's Efforts in Narrowing Development Gap Among ASEAN Member Countries".

According to Intani, so far ASEAN has grown as the number five economic power in the world. Therefore, the ASEAN Secretariat has expanded its new initiatives in response to the impact of the pandemic.

In the field of health services, for example, there is the provision of technical support and capacity building in rural areas. Especially for rural residents in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

The prepared project design aims to support the reduction of the development gap and always refers to the agreement of the leaders of ASEAN member countries. "Digital adoption for health security, including assistance in the development of a national health framework, especially the issue of malnutrition, has received special attention," said Intani.