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 Sun - - NATION -

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

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