COVID-19: Its Impact on the Grenadian Economy
By: Henry Joseph
Grenada, like the rest of the world is grappling with the effects of a virus (COVID-19) that to date has affected every country on the face of the earth. Not only has this virus claimed the lives of thousands of citizens but it has also had a crippling effect on the economies of the world.
Grenada with its small open economy has to deal with the downturn that has already begun and is expected to continue for many more months. The prediction is that Grenada’s economy could experience a decline in excess of seven percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the current fiscal year. The effect on the tourism industry has resulted in the almost total collapse thereof, and consequently the loss of many jobs both directly and indirectly.
Notwithstanding this situation, Grenadians are a resilient people so all is not lost completely and therefore the primary focus must be the recovery from the pandemic and the methodology to ensure that the future is secured in order to withstand any recurrence.
Man’s greatest needs are food, clothing and shelter. Although everyone would wish to indulge in the finer things of life, certain circumstances preclude the enjoyment of luxuries. It is therefore incumbent on the population to focus on the ability to obtain the necessities of life as the most important facet of livelihood.
The economic realities force us to rethink our priorities and to re-examine the most advantageous methods of acquiring those things that are necessary to maintain life and limb.
There must therefore be a refocusing of the means by which life would continue. A paradigm shift from the heavy reliance on tourism to agriculture and agro-processing must be considered urgently. The use of the land should once more become a priority while the reduction in the import bill must become a way out of the challenges that will follow the effects of the pandemic in the months ahead.