Updated: Apr 3
Ibrahim Athif Shakoor
This article is part of Covid 19: Stimuli and Beyond edition of the Journal of the Maldives Economic Review, Volume 1, Issue 3, March 2020
The perfect economic stimulus package for a time like this might very well be the stuff of dreams and dare I say nightmares. There’s no single solution for all countries, and each nation must grapple to seek a balance between what they would like to do against what they can practically afford to do. The United States Congress has passed a massive 2 trillion $ fiscal stimuli package. Lawmakers are talking about additional packages in the days to come. There is in effect no single flu shot that will cure the ill effects of the Covid 19’s aftermath.
Yet, this small nation of ours, known best for our natural resources, our beaches, lagoons and for our sustainable fishery products, is proving to the world that we can march lockstep with the brightest and the best when it comes to battling a world pandemic. Not to put too modest a spin on that, we are doing a lot better than some of the first world countries.
This, I believe, is largely due the fact that our statesmen and politicians, were wise enough to allow the professionals to chart the course and decide on the process. The politicians, by confining themselves to mobilizing the resources, removing the red tape, releasing funds and mobilizing good faith have made the ‘science-led-policy’ effective. And thus, we prove to the world that, although we are constrained in material resources, that our human resources are strong. That we have trained and professional people at our institutions and that above all, our political masters are wise in allowing the professional to lead and empower them in such times.
Yet, while we applaud the decisions and steps taken by health care professionalism and are rightly proud of them, let’s also take a pause and recognize that we have, amongst, us professionals and trained graduates in every field of endeavor. Each one of our industries are populated with trained youth straining to show their worth and test their mettle. Fisheries, agriculture, transport, communication, real estate, hospitality, health care, aviation, logistics, banking, …we all know young and educated professionals waiting for an opportunity. Wanting to show to their family and to the nation at large, that the investment in their education is not for naught.
Therefore, as we tighten our belts further and ride a stormy sea for some time yet to come, let us also look for the future with optimism and hope. And when the time is nigh, let us allow our professionals, our trained technocrats, our zealous youth to chart a new course and offer them the resources to build new bridges and ask our politicians to confine themselves to allocation resources for our technically qualified youngsters to finally repay their gratitude to the nation that fostered them and the families who allocated scarce resources to educate them.