Position paper on COVID 19: Economic Preparedness and Building Resilience - Ensuring Disaster Preparedness and Business Continuity: Recommendations for the Government and Policymakers

Shiran Fernando, Chandrarathna Vithanage, Jayani Ratnayake, Chamathya Ranawana, Nishara Fernando, Naduni Jayasinghe, Richard Haigh, Dilanthi Amaratunga

Research output: Book/ReportOther report


The unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt globally and with many socio- economic implications. Although COVID-19 is a global event, its prevention and preparedness requires strategic planning and execution at national level. The pandemic posed severe detrimental effects on the Sri Lankan economy. The GDP contracted by 3.6% in 2020 from a 2.3% positive growth in 2019, reflecting the largest economic downturn recorded in the country’s history. A quantum shift in the approach and architecture in pandemic preparedness is obligatory in Sri Lanka. This position paper proposes a set of recommendations for the private sector but also recognizes the need for a Public-Private Partnership approach to focus on pre-outbreak and post outbreak planning and preparedness.

This position paper has been developed by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SPARC) of the University of Colombo and Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC) of the University of Huddersfield. The paper has been informed by the following steps:

Step 1: A review of literature, which drew on secondary sources including scholarly articles, institutional reports, news reports and websites.

Step 2: A series of consultations with stakeholders in 4 key economic sectors: Agriculture, Apparel, Construction and Tourism and with Asia Disaster Preparedness Centre [ADPC], Disaster Management Centre [DMC] of Sri Lanka and Regional Chambers of Commerce. The consultations sought to capture the impacts of COVID-19 (first and second wave), their current status of preparedness for biological hazards and multi-hazard contexts, and recommendations to enhance disaster and economic preparedness.

Step 3: Inclusion of insights from the panel discussion held at the launch event of the first version of the position papers. The first version was revised to incorporate newly available information and recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherGlobal Disaster Resilience Centre
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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