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The Policy Forum on Development (PFD) virtual Asia regional meeting was held on 23rd July 2020. The 2020 Global PFD scheduled for March, had to be cancelled in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, the PFD organized virtual discussions to ensure the views of PFD stakeholders were shared and taken on board as the EU responds to COVID-19, reinforces its commitment to the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. The Global PFD Virtual meeting is planned be held in September 2020.


The Asia meeting offered insights into the next phase of the EU programming in the areas of inequalities, Green Deal, economy that works for all people and digitization. Following the presentations there was in-depth guided discussion on PFD member’s recommendations and question and answer session to clarify questions on EU programming.  the PFD also collected written inputs from the participants and it is a welcome step to make the discussions and decision making more participative.


 ICA-AP staff attended the meeting and made suggestions on behalf of cooperatives in AP region.  The business of cooperatives in Asia region has suffered losses like any other businesses due to COVID-19 induced lockdown. Cooperatives across the region have demonstrated solidarity and resilience and helped members and community by sharing resources, distributing food, medicines, protection gears such as masks and sanitizers, providing shelter and financial services etc. Cooperatives in India have also generously donated to government relief funds. The priority for cooperatives in the region is digitalisation, reducing digital divide, climate action and addressing reverse labour migration. These concerns were highlighted during the guided discussions and well noted by the PFD.