Establish COVID-SDG, Fiji urges world bodies
While addressing the OECD-WEF Development Finance’s recent meeting at UN, Fiji’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad said that such a fund should focus on investments that have high jobs opportunities; livelihoods a
Fiji has called on the United Nations (UN), World Economic Forum (WEF), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to share their expertise and also “establish COVID-SDG Transition Investment Fund using a blend of grant, concessional and private investments” to assist the Pacific Small Island Developing States like Fiji in their recovery plans.
While addressing the OECD-WEF Development Finance’s recent meeting at UN, Fiji’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad said that such a fund should focus on investments that have high jobs opportunities; livelihoods and environmental impact.
The meeting convened with the World Economic Forum examined the special case for recovery in small states and it was chaired by Susana Moorehead, Chair of Development Assistance Committee at OECD.
Mr Prasad spoke on the core elements of the plans to restore stability and growth in small states in saying that “a climate crisis, compounded by a health crisis and exacerbated further by an economic crisis has left Fiji and many SIDS bracing for a “coronavirus supercyclone” of the century.
“A rapidly spiraling jobs and livelihoods tragedy looms. A global food crisis seems inevitable. Small states are the most severely exposed to the unfolding human crisis triggered by COVID19 pandemic. They cannot remain at the backend of the cue of international recovery.
“Fiji knows painfully too well what destruction a Category 5 cyclone brings. Tropical Cyclone Winston that hit Fiji in 2016 destroyed nearly a third of the Fijian economy and undoing generations of hard-won development progress. The ‘coronavirus supercyclone’ is that Category 5 Cyclone intensified several times over,” Mr Prasad said.
He stated that before the COVID-19 pandemic, Fiji was making steady progress on two long term transitions.
“Firstly, Fiji had been climate proofing its economy and society. This involves investments to rebuild water infrastructure to withstand fiercer storms and rising sea levels; relocating communities to protect them from rising sea levels; introducing new climate change resistant varieties of food; rebuilding homes and government infrastructure that had been destroyed by cyclones and frequent flooding to higher engineering standards.”
He said: “Fiji had been making steady progress to becoming a zero carbon economy and society by 2050. It has been setting up marine protected areas; accelerating its forestry protection programmes; increasing solar coverage across maritime and rural communities; commissioning new mini-hydroelectricity; innovating policy to encourage green investments”.
Fiji’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ambassador Satyendra Prasad