SUVA, 22 OCTOBER 2020 (FBC NEWS) — Small Pacific Island States do not have enough resources to fully recover from COVID-19 and are currently in survival mode.
Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum made the comment while opening a virtual roundtable on finance and solutions for COVID-19 recovery.
With the impacts of the pandemic continuing to take a toll, Sayed-Khaiyum is urging multilateral agencies and global financial institutions to urgently shift from dialogue to practical solutions.
He said this will not only stop losses but will help vulnerable developing states such as Fiji keep pace with global recovery.
“But our needs do not exist in a vacuum. It was only last April when the United Nations estimated that SIDs will require more than US$5.5 billion to counter the immediate adverse effect of the pandemic. That is supposedly a worst-case scenario. Six months later that most dire projection hails in comparison to reality.”
Sayed-Khaiyum also urged drastic policy review and further amendments to multilateral and development financial institutions which will ensure that funding comes with a new approach.
“Development institutions must stop using the economy of scale as a roadblock against innovative solutions with huge transformative potentials. We must embrace the notion of pilot first which allows us to develop agile solutions tailored to suits circumstances before they are scaled and replicated through largely development finance.”
Sayed-Khaiyum also lobbied for any COVID-19 vaccine to be treated as a global social good with no excuses for exclusivity or shortages.
The discussion was organised by the UK High Commission in Fiji….. PACNEWS

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