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Small Island States experienced an estimated 9% fall in GDP in 2020: UNCTAD Report

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Small island states faced thrice as much fall in GDPAccording to the 2021 edition of UNCTAD’s  (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) ‘Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures’ report,   Due to pandemic, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) experienced an estimated fall in GDP of 9% in 2020, compared with a 3.3% decline in other developing countries (Based on IMF data).

  • The report has been published ahead of UNCTAD’s 15th Quadrennial ministerial conference to be held virtually from October 3-7, 2021. It will be hosted by Barbados.
  • SIDS are already facing extreme risk from global warming.

Key Points

i.COVID-19 has affected all spheres of life in SIDS including health, the economy and trade.

  • One of the severely hit sectors is the services exports, which is heavily reliant on tourism. They contribute on average 25% to SIDS’ GDP.
  • Due to pandemic, SIDS sufferenced an estimated 70% drop in travel receipts in 2020.

ii.SIDS were also 35% more vulnerable to external economic and financial shocks compared to other developing countries.

iii.SIDS countries hardly emit greenhouse emissions, but are the 1st to suffer the impacts of climate change.

Vulnerability of SIDS

  • SIDS are vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surges and coastal destruction.
  • According to the 2020 Environmental Vulnerability Index, 4 out of the top 10 most environmentally vulnerable countries in the world are SIDS
  • A UN report on World Population Prospects 2019 warned that many SIDS may not achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 due to increasing populations and climate risks.

About United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Acting Secretary-General of UNCTAD – Isabelle Durant
Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland