February 14, 2019 – The International Monetary Fund is proposing a shift in focus from ex post to ex ante approach to building resilience for Grenada.
Building resilience was one of the key themes highlighted during the visit of a high-level IMF delegation this week, headed by Deputy Managing Director of the IMF, Mr. Tao Zhang.
Mr. Zhang said building resilience is more effective than responding after a natural disaster and it can also help to boost growth and private investment over time. He said this shift will help to safeguard the significant gains Grenada has recorded in managing its economy.
Mr. Zhang said, Grenada’s economic performance has been quite solid as a result of the strong macroeconomic policies pursued by the Government and the tough fiscal measures.
He said, “These measures have yielded a very positive result and we see there is a good momentum ongoing. If you take a look ahead, the challenges remain, including how to build resilience. Resilience matters here because this is a small economy that is quite vulnerable to the various natural disasters, particularly climate change. Compared to continental economies, these economies are narrowly-based and we have to beef up the economic performers to weather these risks in case they materialise.”
Mr. Zhang added, “In the past, we have been responsive when a natural disaster hits; of course that is important, we have to respond, but more importantly, we have to move ahead and prepare ourselves in advance. That is a core part that we are trying to work on together.”
The high-level IMF official said Grenada’s experience can provide lessons for other countries.
“We believe that the Government and country are on the right track but it is the beginning, not the end of the story. We hope Grenada can provide a right case that other countries in a similar situation can draw some lessons and good experiences from to help them prepare.”
He added, “Grenada is one of the countries in our big family and we learn and benefit from each other. It is not a one-way relationship, but more importantly, two-way knowledge and information flows. Sometimes we provide advice to the countries and sometimes, the countries’ experience provide a good example that can be passed on to other members, so we all benefit from this relationship.”
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith Mitchell also acknowledged the need for a shift in focus saying, “The actions we take in the preparedness and mitigation phases of the disaster management cycle can significantly reduce our level of vulnerability and consequently, the potential impact of a disaster. We are in effect, building resilience.”
Dr. Mitchell added, “We have done an excellent job of ensuring fiscal resilience, we must now broaden the scope of that to build true resilience. Government is keenly aware of the significance of resilience and it has become a cross-cutting theme in all major activities.”
Dr. Mitchell expressed optimism that the IMF will continue to partner with Grenada in the quest to build resilience. “We seek your support to further crystalise our resilience framework that would act as a catalyst in mobilising donor support as we seek to navigate this new terrain.”