We are passing through an unprecedented health, economic and social crisis. The consequences of this would be borne by our peoples and economies for years to come. I will highlight a few issues:
First, in many of our countries, SDG implementation plans are put on hold as we are diverting our limited resources to meet emergency health needs. To tackle it, collaboration for SDG financing must really take a new meaning now. We have to take the path of a sustainable recovery from COVID 19 that would complement our efforts to achieve the SDGs.
Second, this pandemic has disrupted trade and global supply chains all over the world with dire consequences for many of our countries. Our export earnings are falling at a rapid scale. We are losing export orders for billions of dollars. Millions of workers face the prospect of losing jobs as their companies face cancellation of orders. In this backdrop, we must sustain export industries and also support domestic ones. To tackle the challenges of the pandemic, Bangladesh has announced a 12.13 billion dollar, (which is 3.7% of our GDP), stimulus package for various sectors of its economy as well as support measures for different segments of population of our society. Our objective is to provide support to the industries as well as MSMEs. While we are making efforts, we expect greater solidarity and we urge our business partners to pursue responsible business conduct during this crisis.
Third, the World Bank has projected that the Low and Lower Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) would have nearly 20% decline in their remittances. Many of the migrants are living in difficult conditions with little access to urgent health care. Hundreds of thousands of the migrants have been rendered jobless by this pandemic and many are returning home. Managing the return of migrant workers would be a huge challenge for us. Over and above that, we face a shrinking overseas labour market caused by the global economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. The consequences will be serious; and is certain to hinder the socio-economic achievements in many countries. We would like to request the migrant destination countries to consider the case of the migrants with compassion and responsibility.
Fourth, Bangladesh and some other countries are poised to graduate from the LDC category. New international support measures packages are essential for the graduating LDCs particularly when we know that this pandemic will have long lasting negative impacts on our economies. We wish to see the UN and other development partners and donors, international financial institutions, regional bodies, and the private sector to stimulate their support to us with innovative packages and financial instruments even after our graduation.
Finally, I wish to highlight that the COVID pandemic is exacerbating the vulnerabilities of the climate vulnerable countries. More vigorous efforts are required to finance climate actions, which will support us in building better resilience against any disaster.
I thank you.