The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy of Saint Lucia and that of many of the countries in the Caribbean.
The crisis has cruelly exposed the fragility of our development model, with its almost exclusive reliance on tourism. It has also laid bare the social inequalities in our country and the inadequacies of our social protection mechanisms and systems. While no country could have been adequately prepared to deal with this unprecedented event, we have not been able to provide even the most basic safety nets to allow our vulnerable and affected populations to weather this economic storm. The limited fiscal space within which the government operates, due to high levels of national debt, has left it with no space to maneuver.
The COVID-19 crisis has brought us to an unexpected but very important inflection point in the development of our country and our region. It is clear that post-COVID 19, we cannot slide back to business as usual. We must position our country to be better able to weather external shocks in the future.
While elsewhere on this site we have a detailed agenda for building resilience, there are some interventions that must be pursued with greater urgency to get our country on the right track.
The areas that we see as being of greatest importance are (i) food security, (ii) water security, (iii) economic diversification, (iv) fiscal responsibility, (v) energy security, (vi) social protection, and (vii) political and governance reform.