The Commonwealth Secretariat boss is concerned that a lethal combination of disease, extreme climate events and economic crises threatens the smallest and most vulnerable nations of the world.
Patricia Scott says to tackle it, countries must overhaul how they understand and address economic vulnerability because the COVID-19 pandemic has already triggered a massive global recession.
She says overall, Commonweal small states are set to lose 8.6 per cent of projected economic growth, with knock-on effects such as unprecedented levels of unemployment and disruption to social services.
Yet, despite the patent vulnerabilities they share, many small states are excluded from vital international financial support designed to help cope with COVID-19, including debt relief.
She cites the IMF offer of $213 million dollar worth of COVID-19 related debt relief to 29 of the poorest and most vulnerable nations, an initiative that will only benefit six of 54 Commonwealth countries – The Gambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.