March 10, 2020 – Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell has initiated engagement with the social partners and other key stakeholders as Grenada intensifies its fight against the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Dr. Mitchell who is also the Minister of Finance, met with a core group of stakeholders Tuesday morning to begin looking at the potential economic impact of this global health emergency on Grenada.
Joining representatives from the Ministry of Health for the Post Cabinet Press Briefing, the Prime Minister acknowledged that the impact could be widespread and preparations must be made. He said, “COVID-19 has the potential to adversely affect trade and tourism. The updated travel advisory shows a total of five countries now on the restricted travel list. We have to continue protecting our country and the health of its people, but we must balance that with the possible impact on the livelihood of persons in the tourism industry and other key economic sectors.”
Coming out of Tuesday’s meeting, specific sector impacts will be developed, ahead of a meeting between the International Monetary Fund and Prime Ministers and Finance Ministers next week, to discuss possible areas of support for countries in preparing for COVID-19. The World Bank has already pledged $12 billion as an initial package to help countries deal with the health and economic impacts of the virus outbreak.
The potential sector impact and the requisite local actions will also be the focal point of discussion at a meeting on Thursday which will include the social partners and a wider grouping of stakeholders.
Dr. Mitchell said, “The potential impact of COVID-19 is a national issue that necessitates a national response. Therefore, I have invited representatives of all sectors in addition to the social partners to have a discussion on the way forward. We all need to be on the same page if we are to effectively protect the country and its people.”
In the midst of the potential impact of COVID-19, the Prime Minister sees an opportunity for Grenada to seriously consider achieving greater food security through increased and more consistent agricultural production.