This comic strip is inspired by real stories of APMDD members across the region. As COVID-19 lockdowns brought already marginalized communities to extreme crises of survival, people came together in the spirit of solidarity. Community pantries and kitchens, the delivery of basic necessities to the elderly and others who must keep indoors, among other community-led initiatives, are testament to peoples’ solidarity.
People’s solidarity, however strong and effective, is not a substitute for the State’s responsibility to provide essential public services, especially amidst widening inequalities in Asia. People living in extreme poverty, barely affording a single meal in a day, are estimated to have increased to over 100 million in Asia. Gender inequalities have also deepened with heavier demands on women to provide a disproportionate amount of time on unpaid care work in the midst of greater female unemployment and widening gender wage gaps. Ironically, Asia and the Pacific has also seen rapid growth in wealth by individuals and corporations amounting to over US$ 7.5 billion in 2020 alone.