Pandemic shows need to leave no one behind, says Minister
A “leave no one behind approach” should be adopted by governments as part of the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, a regional conference heard.
The news came as Tinee Furbert, the Minister of Social Development and Seniors, outlined discussions about “social development and social protections in a protracted crisis” presented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Ms Furbert told the House of Assembly on Friday that the presentation was made at the Fourth Session of the Regional Conference on Social Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, held from October 26 to October 28.
Ms Furbert said: “Transformational approaches should focus on guaranteeing income, food access, expenditure reduction and cash transfers.
“As we have all been impacted in one way or another by the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, there is an urgent call by the international community to encourage governments to take a mainstream approach to mental health in incorporating support systems into social protection frameworks.“
Ms Furbert said governments in the region had identified a need to create a “vulnerability index” as a replacement for the Gross Domestic Product as a measure of development, inequality and stability of social protection systems.
Bermuda was highlighted as one of five countries in the region expected to meet a World Health Organisation target of 70 per cent Covid-19 vaccination coverage by the end of the year.
Ms Furbert added that the UN Women of the Caribbean organisation had invited the Bermuda Government to discuss “strengthening the social frameworks that will build capacity, along with innovative financing opportunities to enhance Bermuda’s social resilience“.