THE 2021 Development Budget will target sectors that aims to drive economic activity, address food security, support the provision of basic essential services, and support job retention and employment.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination Susan Sulu said the economic returns from targeted sectors will continue to finance activities in other equally important sectors such as the social sector going into the long term.
Overall, she said the 2021 Development Budget is aimed to continue to fund programmes and projects across all sectors to keep the economy afloat and to ensure service delivery progresses well during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis.
She said whilst efforts have been made to collect and show more comprehensive data on the non-appropriated funding that is expected to be injected into the local economy in 2021, collecting sufficient reliable donor data is an on-going challenge.
Ms Sulu said it needs improvement to be able to show a holistic picture of the entirety of the funding towards capital investments and development.
“Other considerations which the 2021 development budget takes into account is the need to address current socio economic vulnerabilities that the COVID-19 pandemic compounds or further excercebates,” she said.
She said the impacts of COVID-19 are results of the measures put in place to mitigate the health effects of the pandemic.
“The main pathways of impact experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic have been through boarder closures, which has affected the tourism industry in particular; shift in demand for timber and round log exports which have impacted government revenue; and a shift in demand for tuna exports, which have also affected government revenue and businesses involved in tuna exports. In the medium term, a shift in the volume of aid flows is another pathway through which COVID-19 could impact the country,” she said.