As the COVID-19 virus spreads to over 203 countries, home to over two-thirds of the world’s population excluding China, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is seeking a $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countries including the Caribbean. This package was proposed in a report, “The COVID-19 Shock to Developing Countries” on Monday.
This report also outlined a four-pronged strategy to ‘translate expression sof international solidarity into concrete action’ to fight COVID-19. This strategy includes $1 trillion should be made available through the expanded us of special drawing rights and $1 trillion in debts owed by developing countries should cancelled in 2020. UNCTAD also proposed a Marshall Plan for health recovery funded by some of the missing official development assistance promised by development partners and capital controls be given their ‘legitimate place in any policy regime..’
At a briefing on Monday, UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric reiterated that the health pandemic and the anticipated global recessions will be catastrophic for developing countries and halt their progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).