International bodies and credit agencies join forces with one fundamental premise: multilateralism and cooperation are essential to fighting this pandemic.
San Jose, 7 April 2020 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) participated in a virtual meeting convened by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Director of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to provide coordinated responses at the hemispheric level in the face of Covid-19.
Manuel Otero, Director General of IICA, and the leaders of 12 international and multinational organizations responded to a call made by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS and Carissa F. Etienne, Director of PAHO to meet by videoconference, during which they agreed that multilateralism and international cooperation are fundamental to dealing with the crisis.
The international organizations comprise the Joint Summit Working Group (JSWD) chaired by Almagro.
During the virtual meeting, the Director General of IICA presented the vision of the Institute with respect to the health emergency, which consists in coordinating the efforts of the countries in the Latin America and the Caribbean to ensure food security in order to avoid any drop in food supply, mitigate price increases and avoid any risk of social violence.
During the meeting several things were underscored, including the presentation of information in real time to facilitate decision-making, the search for resources to protect employment and income within the population, efforts to make international loans more flexible, and paying greater attention to the situation of migrants and women, given that these latter are impacted by the tensions in the health sector and the closure of lower level businesses (in which most of them work).
“This emergency requires that multilateral organizations reinforce the coordination of their actions to make them more effective. The effects of the pandemic are brutal for the population because it destroys income, employment and companies, sharpens social disparities and challenges governments and institutions”, stated the Director General of IICA.
The Joint Summit Working Group (JSWD), which will meet once again towards the middle of the month of April, comprises the following organizations:
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)
- Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
- Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)
- World Bank
- Latin-American Development Bank (CAF)
- Caribbean Development Bank (CDB)
- Central-American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
By way of providing technical support in the face of the pandemic, IICA established the Food Security Advisory Committee, which conducts analyses and makes recommendations for decision making in the countries; publishes a monitor of food security and coordinates virtual meetings with the ministers of agriculture from the different regions around the hemisphere. Additionally, the Institute has developed new technological tools that allow the ministers to share information on surpluses and shortfalls.