COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis with numerous implications. In addition to compromised health, this pandemic presents vast socio-economic issues, many of which disproportionately impact developing countries where income losses are predicted to reach at least US $220 billion. In the Eastern Caribbean, immediate effects are being felt among communities reliant on tourism, food structures dependent on imports and Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) now struggling to cope with business closures and declining revenue streams. With island states on lockdown, increased self-isolation measures in place and international flight suspensions, there will be more repercussions to come that compromise livelihoods, particularly among the informal sector.
Now more than ever, innovation is needed in order to identify disruptive responses to the complex problems the Eastern Caribbean faces due to COVID-19. How can systems be reimagined? How can we look at traditional models in new ways? How can the digital tools at our disposal lead to relevant breakthroughs? In doing so, we can help ensure a safer and stronger future, leaving no person behind.
We invite the innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, dreamers, visionaries, creatives and more to participate in UNDP’s Eastern Caribbean #IslandHack prototype challenge as we come together to find #NextGen solutions to COVID-19!