Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says they will require radical financing solutions as their tourism revenue is gutted, lending capacity is limited, and they cannot go at it alone as COVID-19 pandemic’s economic consequences have proved far beyond their capacity to deal with.
Bainimarama has joined the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres in calling for global leadership to secure financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and beyond.
The UN Secretary General together with the Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica co-convened urgent virtual discussions to draw attention to the financing needed to respond to the social and economic impacts of COVID-19 on developing countries.
The UN Secretary General told 50 World Leaders and the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund that the “World needed to act decisively and with great urgency to meet this human crisis”.
The virtual discussions between World leaders and heads of multilateral institutions were focused on the need to maintain financial stability, the need to address debt vulnerabilities for developing countries, the need to create a space in which private sector creditors can proactively engage, prerequisites for enhancing external finance for inclusive growth, measures to foster domestic resource mobilization and ensuring a sustainable and inclusive recovery.
Bainimarama drew the attention of the world leaders to the unique challenges that small states faced, the standstill in whole sectors of the economy such as tourism, the collapse of remittances and the deepening uncertainties in supply chains hit the smaller island states much harder.
Bainimarama told the UN meeting that the COVID-19 crisis is not of their own making, and again, their economies are bearing the brunt of its consequences.
He says financial constraints and debt vulnerabilities risk widening the gap between the developed and developing worlds and this time the enemy they face is not climate change, but contagion.
He says Fiji quickly rolled out strict directives to eliminate the coronavirus within its borders, and they have now gone over one month without a new case.
He says just as a global health recovery cannot be confined to those who can most afford a possible new vaccine, a global economic recovery cannot be limited to those large economies who can unilaterally inject trillions into social and economic stimulus because of a superior position in the global financial system.
Bainimarama called for international solidarity that gives small island developing states fiscal space to maintain and expand social protections, while maintaining economic stability and sustained economic growth.
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