Grenada joins CARICOM in criticising unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccinesTuesday, September 28, 2021
UNITED NATIONS, (CMC) – Grenada on Monday joined the other Caricom countries in urging the international community to end the inequitable distribution of vaccines to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Addressing the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Foreign Affairs, International Business and Caricom Affairs Minister, Oliver Joseph, said the social fallouts and the inequitable access to vaccines, particularly for small island developing states like Grenada, have contributed to undermining the island's stability.
“COVID-19 has indeed wreaked immense havoc on economies across the world, but with a particular intensity and lasting effect on small economies such as ours. Prior to the first case of COVID-19 on the island in March 2020, the Grenadian economy was on an upward trajectory since 2013, growing at an average rate of 4.5 per cent per year,” he shared.
“This upward trend in output was disrupted by the pandemic with preliminary estimates showing that the economy contracted by 13.7 per cent in 2020. Stark declines were recorded in several sectors, most notably tourism and air transport,” Joseph said.
Pointing out that unemployment rose from a record low of 15.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019, to 28.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, with 14,000 jobs being lost as a direct consequence of the pandemic, the Minister said vulnerable groups “particularly women, youth and the unskilled”, have been among the most affected.
He then went on to express that the priorities for the island's 2022 national budget will be based on the “government's strategic policy agenda for recovery, transformation and resilience.”