“Small Island Developing States” faced most GDP loss in 2020: UN report

What is the News? The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD) has released a report titled “Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures”. The report highlights the numerous challenges faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Key Findings of the Development and Globalization: Facts and Figures Report:
  • Small island developing states(SIDS) faced thrice as much fall in Gross Domestic Product(GDP) in 2020 as other developing countries.
    • SIDS GDP is expected to decline by 9% in 2020 compared to 3.3% for developing countries.
  • The SIDS countries were also 35% more vulnerable to external economic and financial shocks than other developing countries.
  • Moreover, COVID-19 has affected all spheres of life in SIDS including health, the economy, and trade.
    • For instance, COVID-19 has affected tourism services across the world. This has had a huge impact on SIDS as most of them are heavily reliant on tourism.
What is Small island developing states(SIDS)?
  • Small Island Developing States(SIDS) are a distinct group of 38 UN Member States and 20 Non-UN Members/Associate Members of UN regional commissions that face unique social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities.
    • Maldives is one of the Small Island Developing States(SIDS).
  • They were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries in June 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development.
  • The geographical regions in which SIDS are located are the Caribbean, the Pacific, and the AIS (Atlantic, Indian Ocean and South China Sea).
  • The Barbados Programme of Action was produced in 1994 in order to assist the SIDS in their sustainable development efforts.
  • The United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) represent this group of states.
Why are Small Island Developing States are unique?
  • SIDS countries are unique as most of them hardly emit greenhouse emissions but are the first to suffer the impacts of climate change.
  • Many of them are low-lying, situated just five metres above sea level. This makes them vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surges and coastal destruction.
    • According to the 2020 Environmental Vulnerability Index, 4 of the top 10 most environmentally vulnerable countries in the world are SIDS.
  • According to the United Nations report on World Population Prospects 2019, many SIDS countries would not be able to achieve Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 because of increasing populations and climate risks.

Source: Down To Earth


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