COVID-19 has exacerbated the existing challenges confronting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) resulting in a new array of challenges which could potentially inhibit the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SAMOA Pathway.
The COVID-19 pandemic is first a health crisis. With their relatively weaker healthcare services and systems, SIDS require support in order to respond to this crisis. COVID-19 also can have cascading and scarring effects on economies and societal systems, and its economic impact is already hard felt in many countries. Policy responses need to be implemented with great urgency to address immediate challenges, with the ultimate objective to build back better so as to be resilient to future crises and to embark on accelerated progress towards sustainable development.
Significant financial and other support will be necessary to bolster SIDS’ efforts to respond to COVID-19 and boost economic and other resilience. New and innovative financial instruments that incentivizes ex-ante resilience building are required. In this regard, the support of the international multilateral financial community and other multilateral and bilateral partners are necessary to realize the magnitude of resources required at this time.
In addition, there is emphasis on the need for immediate solutions and effective commitments for long-term debt relief for SIDS. Whilst there has been some support for the suspension of debt repayments for IDA eligible countries, most SIDS do not fall into this category. There is a need to address debt relief and restructuring in all SIDS, with greater flexibility in the assessment of developing countries' fiscal situations, and extended credit facilities.
This session will feature resource persons and country representatives from across the three SIDS regions, who will share their challenges, strategies and approaches in response to COVID-19 and for realizing the transformational change necessary for building resilience in these economies. It will also explore the channels of support currently available, identify where gaps exist, and how the required resources can be leveraged from the international community.
Proposed guiding questions:
Followed by interactive discussion