The Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, has submitted to the member countries of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) the actions, proposals and policy recommendations that the Commission has developed for providing follow-up and for confronting the coronavirus crisis (COVID-19).
Barcena presented the 'Report on the economic impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Latin America and the Caribbean,' a study produced by ECLAC in response to a request made by the government of Mexico, acting as CELAC's Pro Tempore Chair, at the Virtual Ministerial Meeting on Health Matters for Response and Follow-up to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The senior United Nations official specified that, in response to CELAC's request, ECLAC has 'set in motion' a COVID-19 Observatory to contribute to the analysis and follow-up of actions and measures taken by CELAC's 33 countries to tackle the pandemic.
Barcena said that the Observatory has produced diverse reports and studies with comparative data to inform policymakers about sectoral issues; has held meetings with government representatives at the highest level to support solution-building and the exchange of experiences (gatherings that will continue to take place over the coming weeks); and has made short and medium-term recommendations and proposals.
'The pandemic has sent shockwaves through societies and economies, forcing us to be more creative, increase experience-sharing, strengthen peer learning and take advantage of multilateralism at a time when cooperation and collaboration among stakeholders is vital and no one can save themselves unaided,' Barcena said.
ECLAC's Executive Secretary underscored that the COVID-19 Observatory in Latin America and the Caribbean, implemented by ECLAC with the support of United Nations resident coordinators in the region, is 'a space for regional communication to share analyses of economic and social effects at a national and regional level with regard to the state of health systems, labor structures, employment, schooling, production, trade and macroeconomic policy.'
She said that this tool includes a COVID-19 Geo-portal which, through an interactive map, provides access to information on the actions taken by the region's countries to confront the pandemic.
'This information is disaggregated by the type of measure, such as restrictions on movement...