President David Granger told Heads of United Nations (UN) Member States that “extraordinary” funding must be directed to small States like Guyana to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. He made this statement this morning when Prime Ministers of Canada and Jamaica, along with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, convened a special high-level meeting to advance concrete solutions to the development emergency caused by the virus.
“We recognise, that given the multi-dimensional nature of the impact of COVID-19, extraordinary financing must be directed to support small states,” he said.
President Granger said that Guyana is a small developing State, whose many challenges have been compounded by its need to combat COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that small states are obligated to respond to the urgent, unavoidable and unanticipated effects of COVID-19 and at the same time, require costly and necessary assets to furnish public health sectors. Consequently, this expanded response to COVID-19 will overwhelm small economies in the absence of concessional resource availability, he added.
Therefore, resources must be directed to small states to ensure that there are structured and sturdy systems in place to save lives and to support livelihoods. He highlighted the need for small countries to have adequate resources at their disposal to ensure that they hit the ground running when COVID-19 subsides.
“In the medium and long-term, we must build capacity to respond effectively and efficiently when faced with health crisis, which are predicted to occur more frequently in the future. In the long-term, we must achieve food security by sustaining agriculture and manufacturing services. So, when our economy reopens, our public and private sectors with be capable of rapid production and progress,” he said.
In conclusion, he said: “Excellencies, we commend and thank the governments and institutions which have supported the flow of much needed resources to small states like ours, so far, we recognise that more must be done.”