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COVID-19 in the Pacific Island Commonwealth: microstates managing a macro-challenge

Herr, R 2021 , 'COVID-19 in the Pacific Island Commonwealth: microstates managing a macro-challenge' , The Round Table, vol. 110, no. 1 , pp. 138-148 , doi: 10.1080/00358533.2021.1875715.

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Abstract

Although the heritage and values of the Commonwealth of Nations are integrally woven into the political DNA of the Pacific Island region, this connection is not directly evident in the robust ecology of multilateral organisations that have developed over the past 80 years or in meeting the challenge of COVID-19. The region's small states have responded nationally rather than regionally. With only a limited exposure to the disease itself, these small states have been comprehensively impacted economically by COVID-19. Border closures as well as the suspension of significant transport options reduced income from tourists and other travellers. Economic conditions reduced the demand for the region's exports while diminished imports cut national income from customs and excises. The use of stimulus packages and borrowings to keep people employed is both necessary and a risk. It could prove ill-advised if tourists and markets do not return to pre-COVID levels. This article looks at the impact of the pandemic in, and on, the region and at some of the factors that might shape the post-COVID order for the Commonwealth's Pacific Island members.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Herr, R
Keywords: COVID-19, Pacific Islands region, Commonwealth of Nations, economic vulnerability, post-COVID challenges
Journal or Publication Title: The Round Table
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0035-8533
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/00358533.2021.1875715
Copyright Information:

© 2021 The Round Table Ltd

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