COVID 19 Challenges for SIDs – A Lack of Discipline Exposed
Last week Minister of Health Jeffery D. Bostic advised the nation that critical equipment needed by Barbados to fight COVID 19 was being blocked by the United States of America. In the case of Barbados it was 20 ventilators, Cayman 50, 000 masks, Bahamas a country with a close relationship with the USA has also experienced issues clearing PPE originating in the USA.
The restriction on export of critical equipment can be traced to President Trump invoking powers under the Defense Production Act.
… the order gave the federal government more control over the procurement of coronavirus-related supplies, it also allowed the administration to ban certain exports. Trump invoked the act following a Twitter attack against U.S. manufacturer 3M over the export of its highly sought N95 respiratory face masks.
We can discussed the action by the USA from a few perspectives, one being the role of a developed country like the USA in the global humanitarian effort. What the action by the USA has exposed is that we live in a world where the sovereignty of nations will be tested. Governments of SIDs will have to find ingenious ways to implement frameworks for functional cooperation to optimally procure and deploy resources to ensure OUR citizens are protected. Since the launch of globalization, a wave of protectionist polices by developed countries makes the contrivance of the concept an opportunity for developing state to be perpetually trapped in a state of being poor.
One of the more instructive videos being shared in the social media space is one featuring Vivian Balakrishan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, it is a must watch. One of the key takeaways for the blogmaster is the confidence with which he spoke about the committent of all citizens of Singapore to being disciplined at an individual level to ensure decisions taken by government are efficiently executed. One of several conclusions that can be made is that Barbados and many countries across the world have a long way to go if we are to wear the label a mature people, mature nations.