During this period of lockdown due to Covid’19 outbreak the mankind had to witness a major twist in their lifestyles. We got to see the downfall of many powerful and technologically improved countries in front of Mother Nature. Some may say we are paying the penalty for our own deeds and some may say Mother Nature decided to reboot and reset herself. Regardless our opinions on the pandemic, we should realize if we are not prepared, the post pandemic period may put us on trouble once again.
As the world debates on how the coronavirus pandemic will reshape global order in a post-COVID world, the Rotaract Club of SLIIT joined hands with Rotaract club of Cinnamon Gardens and Rotaract club of Informatics Institute of Technology to organize “Global Diplomacy Post COVID-19” in order to educate youth on the post Covid diplomacy.
“Global Diplomacy Post COVID-19” happened on the 17th of April, 6pm onwards on the hangouts meet platform. Proceedings were started with Rtr.Haneekah Rahil, president of Rotaract club of Cinnamon gardens giving an introduction about the project and Rtr.Duleesha Waidyarathne, President of Rotaract club of SLIIT introducing the moderator Ms. Kamanthi Wickramasinghe, who did an amazing job moderating the entire event. Shamilka Karunanayake, PDRR. Rtr. Yatin Sehgal, Sachinda Dulanjana and Nawaz Mohammed joined with us as the guest speakers of this event. Our guest speakers shared their knowledge expressing their views and ideas to educate the participants regarding the current situation of COVID-19 and on how to adopt to it and overcome it.
One of the main topics that were discussed on this event was the POSITIVE ATTITUDE that should be built among us. As speakers mentioned that, while lockdowns are necessary for South Asia, temporary and humanely administration is required for better results. Lockdowns and social distancing interrupt transmission of the virus and save health systems from collapsing. But a prolonged lockdown risks causing significant economic damage and personal suffering. Particularly in South Asia, which is unable to offer costly social protection measures feasible in developed countries. Furthermore, even though governments are responsible for provide basic food supplies, either free or at controlled prices, for the poor during lockdowns. We also have a role to play in it therefore we should change our negative attitude to a positive one rather than depending on government or others to help us out with those goods. We should try to cooperate by our efforts as well. For an example gardening essential vegetables and fruits may take out some stress out of our daily expenses. In speaking of the mental health of the people, we have the chance to start a new hobby, start something we wanted to do for a long time, but our busy schedule kept us away from doing it. Stuff like those will help your mental health to stay on right track.
When it comes to economy, investing in South Asia’s under-developed and over-stretched health systems is essential. Reflecting a history of chronic under-spending on public health, South Asia lags others. For instance, on last few years South Asia have given a very small amount of its GDP on public health. Strikingly, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan even spend below the regional average. As this means fewer doctors, drugs, and hospital beds to cope with the pandemic, South Asia should target a gradual increase in public. Furthermore, the region should invest in technologies to improve public health efficiency such as helplines that work and telemedicine as well as ambulances to ferry the sick to hospital. Sri Lanka’s 1990 “Suwaseriya” national ambulance service set up with Indian aid is a good example of aid effectiveness. Furthermore, reforms should focus on pro-poor growth. The closure of manufacturing and services activities across South Asia means rising job loss and pay cuts for workers. Household income of the poorest households, linked to tourism and informal sector activity, will be hard hit. A protracted COVID-19 driven crisis may threaten food security, particularly for the most vulnerable. Such reforms should tackle the challenging issues of food security, targeted social safety nets, women’s empowerment, and small enterprises. Efforts should also continue to improve the investment climate including cutting red tape affecting business and digitization of public services.
This whole discussion went along for almost two hours and every second of it was really use full for anyone who listened to it. After a well worth discussion on Diplomacy POST COVID-19 the event was concluded with Rtr.Pasan Ganewatte president of Rotaract club of IIT delivering the vote of thanks.
“COVID-19 will reshape our world; we don’t yet know when the crisis will end. But we can be sure that by the time it does, our world will look very different” – Josep Borrel
Rtr. Nimsara Fernando