As countries of the world battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its huge disruption to livelihood, economy and health systems, the Developing 8 Organizations for Economic Cooperation has moved for a solidarity among member states.
The D-8 (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey) on Thursday announced commitment to strengthen solidarity among member countries in efforts to enhance cooperation, identify constraints and bottlenecks in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic as well as support countries to build post pandemic resilient health systems.
The Secretary General of the D-8, Ambassador Dato’Ku Jafaar Ku Shaari, in a meeting with leadership of Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of the D-8 countries and development partners said the battle is for life and survival, not how to keep nations peacefully apart, but how to bring them actively together to support one another.
The meeting organized by the Health and Social Protection of the D-8 and Chatham House, was for members to come-up with mechanism to lessen the hardship caused by the pandemic through knowledge sharing and resources and understanding of country specific needs.
The D-8 country members during the meeting also reviewed country contexts and impact and shared some health innovations within and out of the D-8 in line with global best practices that could adopted by members.
The D-8 foresees the attendant effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, as projected by the IMF, to lead to recession far deeper and more devastating than that of 2008. Loss of income worldwide, the aggregate of which is in the region of 3.4 trillion dollars, which will affect billions of people across the world.
Thus, the need for cooperation and solidarity to secure health and economies of the eight countries.
“It is imperative that we use this sectoral track to support one another in order to mitigate the consequential adversities we may face, we needto improve partnerships, experience sharing and mutual support and assistance” said Ku’Jafaar.
Ku’Jafaar said “the impact of the pandemic varies, with some more negatively impacted than others. However, the scale of the economic impact transcends national frontiers, with loss of jobs and revenues in some of the best performing sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, commerce, agriculture and mineral resources”
The Head of the Health and Social Protection Program of the D-8, Dr. Ado Muhammad is encouraging solidarity in areas of commodities, technology, equipment, pharmaceuticals and other needed items.
“This is a time that requires innovative, decisive and coordinated responses from the Member States in order to secure the lives of our 1.1 billion citizens. We cannot afford to falter at this crucial time.” Said Muhammad.
Coordinated by the Health and Social Protection of the D-8, two working groups have emerged, Implementation Monitoring-to provide weekly updates, recommendation for a data driven program which will be carried out by Nigeria, Iran and Egypt, and the Resource Mobilization working group-to articulate strategies and recommendations for domestic resourcing by countries to be done by Bangladesh, Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan.
The D-8 also plans to host a side meeting of Ministers of Health of the D-8 countries during the 2020 World Health Assembly.
The cooperation is currently engaging partners to commence an assessment to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on Health and Economy-mortality, cases, disaggregate data, GDP, Employment and poverty for member countries.