“Because of the use of GDP per capita as the sole criterion for graduation, many of our countries are classified as high middle-income developing countries. And as such we oftentimes are not considered as high priority for the allocation of donor support from the international community,” Prime Minister Holness lamented
“It should be quite clear by now, that GDP in and of itself is not a true indicator of development – apart from indebtedness, as it does not take into consideration vulnerability to exogenous factors including increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters,” he observed.
“As such, we are looking to the international community and development partners to work together with us as small island states - as a special grouping -- as an exposed and vulnerable group -- to have meaningful dialogue in finding the best options that can be used as alternatives to using income levels to determine our access to finance,” the Jamaican prime minister pointed out.
“We can now all agree, that this “GDP rule” is a distortion of the reality that small states, such as Jamaica face when this sole criterion is used. It is clear, climate change has demanded that we revisit the way business is done with our multilateral partners (and with how we manage our own finances.)
“The shocking scale and impact of climate change on SIDS described in the recently published 1.5-degree report demands that what is facing us, requires an urgent change in the climate finance landscape and how, we as SIDS access and utilize such.
“We need to quickly find alternatives that are fair, practical, relevant and helpful to us as SIDS. Alternatives that will ultimately enhance our disaster risk management capacity and ability to respond to the increasing impacts of climate change,” Holness said.
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