Mr. Chairman, I bring you greetings from the Government and people of Grenada.
I am pleased to be participating in this 21st Meeting of the ALBA-TCP Political Council.
Mr. Chairman, we are meeting in very challenging times as we grapple with COVID-19.
Let me first express my Government’s deepest appreciation to the Government of Cuba for providing us with the medical personnel to help deal with COVID-19. This is a sign of genuine friendship and commitment.
To the Government and people of Venezuela for your unwaivering support to the people of Grenada. Your formal pledge of US $200, 000 will assist us in the purchase of vaccines for our people.
COVID-19, which started as a health issue, has now created the biggest financial crisis in decades. In the case of Grenada, after five consecutive years of GDP growth, averaging 3.5 %, the economy declined by 12% in 2020. Current revenue fell by 50% and unemployment rose from 15% to 29%.
As a middle-income country, we now find it difficult to access concessionary financing from the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). As a member of ALBA, we need to coordinate our efforts in calling on the IFIs to relax their stringent measures. We need urgent access to concessionary loans and grants. Together we can build back better.
We reaffirm our commitment to ALBA-TCP.
We also give hope to the people of our region by working closely together.
We strongly urge the immediate lifting of the international measures imposed by the US, which prevent the affected countries from fighting against COVID-19.
Mr. Chairman, Grenada is pleased to be a part of this Meeting and we express our commitment to the people of the region.
Thank you Mr. Chairman