Barbados: As Barbados received its first batch of vaccines from the COVAX facility yesterday, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley called for coordinated action by the Caribbean countries to end the pandemic.
Mottley said during a virtual press conference hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) that such coordination would include coordinating measures such as collective bargaining, the establishment of protocols and policy responses. She stressed that the ball is in the court of the ‘political will of member states’, as such action is necessary for a fairer and healthier world.
“If we do not get the fundamental equation of development right; if we do not work together; if we do not appreciate that we can only work together if we want to achieve a just and healthier world, we run the risk of millions of people dying again in circumstances where policy responses may have a different outcome to ensure fewer people fall victim of epidemics and pandemics,” Prime Minister warned.
However, she noted that the response to the fight against the pandemic was simply that countries work together and for a global moral leadership. Mottley described the trip for the Caribbean as ‘torture’ towards larger countries to gain access to vaccines, and Mottley expressed support for the first call by the WHO for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments within and between countries.
She said that Barbados and its peers in the Caribbean were separated by the world communities as countries that come from the depths of poverty and do not deserve help in traditional ways, usually reserved for the most vulnerable.
“It made life difficult. It was a difficult exercise worldwide because we see the nails literally growing and we did not have access, even if we were not willing to pay,” she said.
However, the prime minister pointed out that the struggle did not end there. She outlined that the recovery budget of COVID-19 and the plans to protect and prioritize the health and social sector were felt by many.
Me. Mottley, who drew examples from Barbados, said the decline in the island’s gross domestic product, especially in the loss of production and production capacity, threatened to put the island back more than a decade.
“Unfortunately, we are still treated globally as one of the countries that does not deserve deserving capital, even though we are facing the most difficult crisis in a century,” she said.
But she promised to address these and other issues later this week during a meeting chaired by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
‘We will begin to present our argument on the need to use different criteria to determine how countries should have access to serious concession capital that is now most needed, to ward off the worst aspects of this pandemic, but more importantly, ”about the long-term consequences of the pandemic, which are the social and economic losses suffered over the past decade,” she said.
During her speech, the Prime Minister noted that the call for action for equitable services and infrastructure in all communities was also important. She added that primary health care for all is also essential if the Caribbean countries were to get their population out of the difficult times.
“This will not be the last pandemic. We must determine what we will learn from
our experience over the past year,” said Prime Minister Mottley.