Virtual Side Event at 2021 Financing for Development Follow-up Forum - Leaving no one behind: Financing Sustainable Recovery from COVID-19 in LLDCs
Even prior to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, mobilizing adequate financing to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was a major challenge for the Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). LLDCs require substantial resources to achieve seamless connectivity to global markets that is crucial for them to harness their trade potential to support their sustainable development. They also require resources to address the priority areas highlighted in the Vienna Programme of Action (VPoA) for LLDCs for the Decade 2014-2024, that are key to improving their integration into the global economy including: Fundamental Transit Policy Issues; Infrastructure Development and Maintenance; International Trade and Trade Facilitation; Regional Integration and Cooperation, and Structural Economic Transformation. The full and effective implementation of the VPoA is critical for LLDCs in achieving the SDGs. The Midterm Review of the VPoA in 2019 showed that while the LLDCs had made progress on their sustainable development, they still fell short of achieving the targets set and there were significant challenges that need to be addressed in order to meaningfully improve the welfare of the lives of over 500 million people living in the LLDCs.
The emergence and spread of COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on the development prospects of LLDCs and the implementation of the VPoA. The pandemic has worsened existing vulnerabilities as LLDCs are now facing a decline in investment, trade, remittances, growing debt burdens, and severely reduced fiscal space. It also presents risk of reversing the progress achieved by LLDCs over the years. Vaccine availability and recovery efforts are of critical importance to the LLDCs.
Due to LLDCs dependence on the transit countries for international trade, restrictive measures at LLDC and transit country borders aimed at curtailing the spread of COVID-19 have greatly affected the movement of goods and services to and from LLDCs. The COVID-19 pandemic has had major impact on the smooth functioning of corridors due to various factors including the closure of state borders, the imposition of restrictions on the movement of people and goods, and the disruption of supply chains. This has negatively affected trade and economic growth of LLDCs. According to UNDESA’s latest report of the World Economic Situation and Prospects, LLDCs’ economies contracted on average by 2.4 per cent in 2020. Many people were pushed into poverty, many of them women, children and people from marginalized communities.
The modest recovery of 4.1 per cent that is expected in 2021 for LLDCs would barely offset the losses of 2020. More efforts are required to ensure that the rebound is achieved and sustained. The vulnerable situation of LLDCs requires the enhanced support of international community to provide adequate financing and technical assistance to build back better for a more equitable, sustainable and resilient world, acknowledging that no single source of financing will be enough to close the COVID-19-induced financing gap.
OBJECTIVES AND EXPECTED OUTCOME:
The main objective of the side event is to mobilize international attention and resources to support development prospects of the LLDCs including the implementation of the VPoA as well as addressing the challenges brought by COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery efforts of the LLDCs. The event will feature details on trends and how to enhance mobilization of financing from: domestic resources, official development assistance, public and private sectors partnerships, South-South and Triangular cooperation, and dedicated special windows for the LLDCs in multi-lateral resources, and innovative sources of funding.
This Event also provides an opportunity for sharing of experiences and concrete recommendations on how to support funding of COVID-19 vaccines.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS INCLUDE:
- How can the international community support LLDCs in procuring COVID-19 vaccines?
- How can international co-operation support LLDCs in improving domestic resource mobilization towards sustainable recovery?
- How can ODA be sustained or improved in real terms to assist LLDCs in the recovery process?
- How can the South-South and triangular cooperation be strengthened to support COVID-19 recovery efforts of LLDCs?
- What is the role of the private sector in building back better post COVID-19?
The event will feature a discussion among panellists representing different stakeholders from Member States and the UN system, followed by an interactive dialogue with members of the audience. Participants will include Member States, UN system organizations, as well as representatives from academia, the private sector and civil society.
The meeting is organized by Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the United Nations - Chair of Group of LLDCs, Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations and UN-OHRLLS