OACPS Inter-Sessional Summit addresses risks arising from Covid-19
On 3 June, the President of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the President of the Republic of Kenya convened an Extraordinary Inter-sessional Summit to address the risks arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and find solutions going forward. The virtual summit, with the theme “Transcending the Covid-19 Pandemic: Building Resilience through Global Solidarity”, aimed to assess the current global Covid-19 situation, and in particular, the effects and consequences for the Members of the OACPS. In addition, Members identified opportunities for global solidarity, action and mitigation.
Before the summit, OACPS Secretary-General H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti said “Covid-19 makes the possibility of a macro-financial crisis in OACPS Members very likely. OACPS countries must find between US$50 and 60 billion this year and much more in 2021 to meet their international obligations, in a context of foreign currency shortages. This will reduce their capacity to finance imports and brings the risk of default and lower ratings, which will restrict their access to the international capital markets.”
The Secretary-General particularly mentioned the expected loss in revenues and incomes due to the downturns in key industries such as tourism, especially in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, where tourism is a driver of growth. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, in the Caribbean tourism accounts for 33‒38% of total GDP.
The OACPS has mobilised over €200 million from the 11th European Development Fund, which is financed by the European Union and co-managed by the OACPS, to aid Member States to boost health systems and preparedness, and assist in the fight against Covid-19.