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Govt used every fiscal resource: Sayed-Khaiyum

 

Apr 26, 2022 11:50:18 AM

Govt used every fiscal resource: Sayed-Khaiyum Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the government has used every fiscal resource it could muster to respond to the 13 cyclones it has faced and the coronavirus pandemic.

Sayed-Khaiyum said vulnerable nations like Fiji are being punished for it by a system of debt architecture that was never built to serve its needs.

He said the global financial system serves as a secure foundation for wealthy countries in times of crisis, but its cracks can swallow developing nations.

“Fiji was the first nation in the world to sign the Paris Agreement. Since then, 13 cyclones have wiped out half of our gross domestic product,” he said.

“This is equivalent to a $13 trillion loss to the United States of America economy. The coronavirus pandemic from which we are now recovering decimated the livelihoods of over 100,000 Fijians.

“Russian war on Ukraine has created a food and fuel price crisis that will continue to exploit our vulnerabilities as an island economy.

“Combined, these crises, would have driven hundreds of thousands of Fijians into destitution. We have not let that happen. We’ve used every fiscal resource we could muster to respond.

“We have reset the course toward the 2030 Agenda. Any responsible leader would do the same. Yet we and other vulnerable nations are being punished for it.

“We and other vulnerable nations are being punished by a system of debt architecture that was never built to serve our needs,” he said.

He said developing countries, on average, spend five times more than developed countries to service their borrowing, often to respond to crises we didn’t cause.

“We, the victims, suffer and pay more to the same system that rewards the perpetrators with cheap finance that is the fundamental injustice at the heart of our global debt architecture.

“The architects of our financial system chose to perpetuate the centuries-old model that exploited their soon-to-be cast-off colonies.

“Rather than building for the future, developing nations are consistently repaying debts under a system designed to serve those old dynamics of power,” he said.

Sayed-Khaiyum said ignoring developing country's vulnerabilities only worsens the consequences for us and the entire market economy.

By Nacanieli Tuilevuka

 

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