Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed the “hard earned gains of sustainable development” and appealed to the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) to mount a campaign to assist developing countries gain access to emergency liquidity support.
Addressing the one-day virtual extraordinary inter-sessional summit of the OACPS on transcending the COVID-19 pandemic, Holness said that Jamaica and other Caribbean Forum states have experienced devastating impact in multiple areas, including health, education, culture trade and finance.
He said the mainstay of most of Caribbean economies, namely agriculture and tourism, “were hardest hit by a staggering fallout in revenue and employment”, and that “these experiences are certainly echoed across the OACP states”.
“This global crisis is a resounding call to action, but nothing less than a comprehensive revision of the system of global economic governance that will promote sustainable development even in the face of a pandemic.”
Holness said that this would include redefining development indices, ameliorating inequalities and addressing economic imbalance.
But he acknowledged that the pandemic has somewhat increased coordinated responses from the international community including the United Nations Secretary General’s launch of the COVID-19 global humanitarian response plan, requiring two billion US dollars to boost the global response to the pandemic.